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Dutch Totok couple wearing Dutch traditional clothing on New Year's Day

Totok is an Indonesian term of unknown origin colloquially used in Indonesia to refer to individuals of foreign (Dutch, other European or Chinese descent) who lived in the Dutch East Indies until Indonesian independence in 1945.[1][2] In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries it was popularised among colonists in Batavia, who initially coined the term to describe the foreign born and new immigrants of "pure blood" – as opposed to Eurasians or Indos.[3] When more Dutchmen were born in the East Indies, the term gained significance in describing those of exclusive European ancestry, or local creoles closer to that side of the racial spectrum.[1]

An antonym of Totok is Peranakan, meaning simply "descendants", which is used for other races that mixed with indigenous Asian peoples.[4]

Notable Dutch Totoks and descendants[edit]

Totok father with Indo wife and children and Indigenous nanny

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Ulbe Bosma & Remco Raben. Being "Dutch" in the Indies: A History of Creolisation and Empire, 1500–1920 (11 April 1996 ed.). National University of Singapore Press. pp. 186–286. ISBN 978-0-89680-261-2.
  2. ^ Charles A. Coppel, "Diaspora and hybridity: Peranakan Chinese culture in Indonesia", in Routledge Handbook of the Chinese Diaspora, edited by Chee-Beng Tan, pp. 346-347
  3. ^ Willems, Wim "Tjalie Robinson; Biografie van een Indo-schrijver" Chapter: Een Totok als vader (Publisher: Bert Bakker, 2008) P.45 ISBN 9789035133099
  4. ^ Tan, Mely G. (2008) (in English and Indonesian), Etnis Tionghoa di Indonesia: Kumpulan Tulisan [Ethnic Chinese in Indonesia: Collected Writings] (Jakarta: Yayasan Obor Indonesia, 2008) ISBN 978-979-461-689-5 P.1
  5. ^ Rubber by Madelon Szekely-Lulofs on DBNL website.
  6. ^ Koelie by Madelon Szekely-Lulofs on DBNL website.


  • (in Indonesian) Sastrowardoyo, Subagio Sastra Hindia Belanda dan kita (Publisher: PT Balai Pustaka, Jakarta, 1990) P.21 ISBN 979-407-278-8 [1]
  • Taylor, Jean Gelman. The Social World of Batavia: European and Eurasian in Dutch Asia (Madison: The University of Wisconsin Press, 1983). ISBN 9780300097092
  • Taylor, Jean Gelman. Indonesia: Peoples and Histories (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2003). ISBN 0300097093
  • ‹See Tfd›(in Dutch) Bosman, Ulbe and Raben, Remco. De oude Indische wereld 1500–1920. (Bert Bakker, Amsterdam 2003) ISBN 90-351-2572-X

External links[edit]