Indonesia Emigration and Immigration
Immigration to Indonesia was in practice since the ancient era. The early phase of Indonesia Immigration started when fishermen of Indonesia migrated to the neighboring islands. Immigration to Indonesia also took place at this time when huge populace from the Indian subcontinent visited the country and settled there. They also highly influenced the culture and society of the country considerably. Thus Indonesian culture is a blend of Indian and Chinese culture mostly.
The main immigration of Indonesia took place in the nineteenth century when people of Indonesia were sent to Australia for working in the pearl and sugarcane industries. Most of them had to return after the Second World War but few of them managed to stay back. The net migration rate of Indonesia is -1.27 migrants against thousand citizens. The outflow of refugees in Indonesia is nine thousand. For working in Indonesia the foreigners have to send their application to the immigration office. The local embassies of the country are not given the privilege of issuing Temporary Stay Visas. People who exceed their visa period are heavily penalized in Indonesia.
Before white settlement of Australia, Indonesian fishermen from Makasar established trading contact with indigenous communities in northern Australia. They constructed outdoor factories to process sea slug (trepang) for the Chinese market, but established no permanent settlements.
From the 1870s Indonesians were recruited to work in the pearling and sugar cane industries in northern Australia. Around 1,000 Indonesians were living in Australia by Federation, almost all in Queensland and Western Australia. With the introduction of the White Australia Policy in 1901, most sugar workers returned to Indonesia, although some pearl divers remained. Few settled in Victoria, and those who did were probably Dutch Indonesians – the Netherlands had controlled the Indonesian archipelago since the 19th century.
During World War II, many Indonesian nationalists were based in Melbourne, and in 1949 Indonesia’s struggle for independence succeeded. From the early 1950s Indonesian students became temporary residents under the Colombo Plan, and by 1961 the Indonesia-born community of Victoria numbered 1,279. A large number were Dutch Indonesians who had been forced out of Indonesia after World War II.
The end of the White Australia Policy in the early 1970s saw increasing numbers of Indonesians arrive. Between 1986 and 1996, the community increased four-fold, to 12,128. Many of the new arrivals were students on temporary visas. Others came under family reunion or skilled migration programs. By 2001 the Indonesia-born population of Victoria was 10,976, a 10-percent decrease since 1996.
The religious diversity within the Indonesia-born community in Victoria was reflective of its multi-racial makeup: 58 percent were Christian, 16 percent were Muslim, 15 percent were Buddhist, and 2 percent were Hindu. Almost three-quarters spoke Indonesian at home. Those employed worked in a variety of areas, with over one-third in professional roles. Today, the community lives largely in Melbourne’s eastern and south-eastern suburbs, and is enriched by several community and cultural groups. Major community events include celebrations for Indonesian Independence Day on 17 August and the end of Ramadan, enjoyed by Muslims and non-Muslims alike.
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