Myra Sidharta (born Auw Jong Tjhoen Moy simplified Chinese: 欧阳春梅; traditional Chinese: 歐陽春梅; pinyin: Ōuyáng Chūnméi) was born in Belitung in 1927. She is an expert in Tionghoa Malay literature, a psychologist and a columnist for Indonesian magazines including The Jakarta Post.
She has an autobiography titled In Search of My Ancestral Home
Sidharta was married to Dr. Priguna Sidharta (Sie Pek Giok) and has 3 children, Sylvia, Julie and Amir Sidharta, who works as a curator. She has five grandchildren: David Leibovic, Jonathan Leibovic, Daniel Leibovic, Radyatra Sidharta, and Prajnacita Sidharta.
Her grandfather, an immigrant from Meixian, Guangdong, China, was afraid that his grandchildren would lose their identity as Chinese. Therefore he encouraged Sidharta to learn Mandarin. Fortunately for Sidharta, there was a female Mandarin teacher staying in her grandparents' house who could teach her.
In Search of My Ancestral Home
In her autobiography, she revealed that in 1872, her grandfather's family was not rich and they had to sell his youngest brother to obtain passage money overseas, and also to leave some money for his mother, who was going to stay behind.
When China became a Communist country, and Indonesia was declared independent, her grandfather's family had to choose between Dutch or Indonesian citizenship.
She also discussed the many discriminatory rules experienced by ethnic Chinese of Indonesia in the 1950s, which caused many Chinese to decide to leave for China.
She details her journey to Meixian and how being with her relatives in China brought her happiness.
- (Indonesian) Dokumentasi Sastra Melayu Tionghoa
- (English) In Collapsing Economy, Local Chinese Scapegoated[dead link]