The STUDENT CONGRESS at Wageningen 1918

Continuation of :

“Max Havelaar”, Indische Vereeniging & “SERIKAT ISLAM”

The editors of the book IN HET LAND van de OVERHEERSER have titled the period 1913 – 1920 as “Emancipatie in samenwerking” or in English : Emancipation in Cooperation. To me this description is very much heavy on the  Dutch opinion, especially the term Cooperation most certainly will not be  shared by the Indonesian side at that time.

Indeed the year 1913 brought a new, fresh wind from the south to the student world in Holland. Those who had the sensitivity to observe this were individuals like Jonkman, who was active in the student organizations particularly in those that related to overseas (“colonial”) matters.  Since 1916 he was suggesting the need for a Congress for  Indonesians and persons who would be active in Nederlands Indie in all sort of professions. And after being discussed at meetings at the

Participating organizations
Participating org. Board Members, seated from left no 2 : JONKMAN, no 4 v.MOOK (1917)

various University Student Corps’ in 1917 it was finally decided that the next year on 29 / 31 August 1918 a congress would take place with many student & professional organization such as can be read in the exhibit below. Indeed a well prepared representation of various professionsi the Ned. Indies in 1918

Participating organizations
Participating organizations

And on D-Day actually a relatively good number of participants came up although for the organizing committee rather disappointing

All participants of the Congress
All participants of the Congress (1918)

The atmosphere was warm and friendly, however for carefully observing individuals  a slight discomfort due to early signs of a contradiction was  felt as is described in the following exhibit.

From "Hindia Poetra"
alkFrom “Hindia Poetra”

Observation by Suze Houtman (at that time the spouse of Sam Ratulangie) she was working at her doctorate in medicine at the UVA. She described that she observed seeds of contradiction in the reluctance of the Indonesian participants of the Congress to join in singing “Wilhelmus van Nassauen” which is the Dutch National Anthem. The Indonesians looked at each other with a questioning expression but in order to maintain good manners and to be polite, did stand up slowly.

At this Congress SAM RATULANGIE also gave a presentation about the Association d’Etudiantes Asiatique in Zuerich, which he chaired. Also on his idea of “Het Nieuw Aziatisme”  (The New Asiatism), whilst he ended his talk  dedicated to the attendants of the Congress as in the following exhibit:

 Sam Ratulangie’s words (1918) 

Sam Ratulangie (a)

Sam Ratulangie (b)

Sam Ratulangie was addressing those who will come to his country later, and asked them to keep the memories of equality and brotherhood obtained at this congress, “keep it as a souvenir and remember it in your daily life when you are in contact with my  people. Remember, gentlemen, that the fascination of Europe is broken and that Indonesia stands in front of you not as a beggar but in his deepest inside relying on his right, rises himself with pride equal to your height. Indonesia will gratefully accept sincere help and cooperation from the outside, but relies only on its own capability. Our future does not depend on this cooperation.”

Enormously brave words for 1918.

Notes from the Editor:  Pictures and Exhibits above are scanned from the book :  IN HET LAND van de OVERHEERSER’, Pending Permission, Thank you

At the moment. in July 2013, nearly a hundred years later, let us join Kishore Mahbubani who argues that  we are on the doorsteps of observing  another CHANGE in ASIA :

Kishore Mahbubani is the author of the book titled “THE NEW ASIAN HEMISPHERE, The irresistable shift of power to the East  ” (2011) translated in many languages, among others in the Indonesian Language (below)

ASIA hemisfir baru DUNIA
ASIA hemisfir baru DUNIA

….and listening to Prof. NOAM CHOMSKY (MIT) with his speech titled

“WHO OWNS THE WORLD?’

is indeed VERY interesting……

NEXT

SAM RATULANGIE and the ASIAN STUDENT ASSOCIATION in Switzerland (1918)

(In preparation)