8 Biggest Indonesian Communities Outside Indonesia

I told you, It’s not an easy job to find an Indonesia town in most countries in the world  than a Chinatown, in fact Indonesian town word term just doesn’t even exist, if its compare to close neighbor such as the Philippines which had the “Little Philippines” in many countries in the world, Indonesian tend to assimilate with locals so they don’t have any specific location inside foreign country.

But There are more than 10 million people of Indonesian descent‎ living outside Indonesia.

Like immigrants everywhere in the world, the Indonesia left their homeland in search of a better life for themselves and their families. Many of this immigration happened from 1999 ~ 2013. And most of them work as Labor worker such as Maid, Nurse, Plantation worker, caregiver and some students.

Most Indonesian immigrants ran into great hardships as a result of bad economy in the country. In many cases, they had their themselves physically abused by their employer (e.g. in Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Malaysia).

Despite these great challenges Indonesian communities have survived and thrived — building goodwill within their respective countries over the years  and many already back with tons of money  to build new life in their homeland.

These 10 countries list that have the largest Indonesian populations (outside Indonesia).

1. Malaysia

At the time, Estimated there are more than 2.5 Millions Indonesian nationality living in Malaysia , the main reason is constant Emigration during the ancient time. Well Malaysia according to Historian was actually part of Indonesia in Sriwijaya Kingdom time. Nowadays most of this emigrant was labor who work as maid or plantation worker. There are also millions Malaysian who had Indonesian blood anyway such as the top Malaysian singer Awie which is a Javanese.

Indonesian in Malaysia

2. Qatar

Estimated there are at least  36.000 Indonesian native living in Qatar. Most of them working as Maid, Nurse, Labor worker or student. Indonesia is largest labor worker community in Qatar a head of the Philippines.

800 WNI Ramaikan Perayaan Hari Raya Idul Fitri 1434 H

3. Arab Saudi

Just like in Qatar, most of Indonesian peoples in Saudi Arabia is Maid and other labor worker. A lot of Indonesian had great trouble while working in this country, Many of them get abused and impregnated by their employed who saw them as slave instead labor worker (that’s according to Indonesian Manpower ministry). Its not hard to find an Indonesian who get jailed while pregnant in many part jail of this country. The famous case probably Suyati Binti Sapubi case where she got beheaded by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia after convicted killing her employer.

Indonesian in SA

4.United States of America

In America, most of Indonesian is student and professional worker. University of Boston and Harvard University is main institution which is attract many Indonesian students. In Silicon Valley, there are more than 250.000 Indonesian peoples working to Big Technology Companies such as Google Inc, Yahoo Inc, Cisco Systems, KLA Tencor, IBM, Facebook and Sun Microsystems. Sehat Sutardja, CEO of Marvell Technology Group, is one of successful Indonesian professional in USA. In April 2010, Voice of America reported there are increasing number Indonesian student who study in USA.

Indonesian American

4. Singapore

According to Indonesian embassy in Singapore, in 2010 there are more than 180.000 Indonesian peoples living in Singapore. At lease 80.000 of them working as maid, 10.000 of them is sailor and the rest is student or professional worker.

Indonesian in Singapore

5. The Netherland

Indonesia is the Dutch ex-Colony . In the early of 20th Centruy many Indonesian study decided to study in the Kingdom of Holland. Most of them living in Leiden city and active in the Indonesian community organization. At the revolution time when the Japanese defeated the Dutch many Mollucan peoples emigrated to the Netherland seeking asylum, most of them actually descendant of Dutch peoples with half Indonesian ( the local called them Belanda Depok). But The locals argue the Mollucan emigrated due their position as part of KNIL armies, which is pro the Imperial Dutch in the colony time. In results, more than 12.500 orang Indonesian stay in Netherland . Denny Landzaat,Giovanni Van Bronckhorst, Mia Audina and Roy Makaay, plus the famous Daniel Sahuleka is just little part of Indonesian descent living in the Netherland.

Indonesian dutch

6. Australia

Before the British landed in Australian, South Sulawesian (The Bugis) had been set their foot in the Kangoro continent. They had been sailing around the Australian North coast , living there for a while and then back to Makasar by small Pinissi ship. This activity long lasted until 1907.

Indonesian australian

7. Suriname

Indonesian peoples of Javanese descent is consist about at least 15% of Suriname population. In the 19th Century the Dutch send the Javanese as slave in the Coffe plantation where they work just like the African in Brazil in the same era. The most famous Indonesian peoples in Suriname is Paul Somohardjo which is the head of Surinamean Supreme Court.

Indonesian surinamean

8. Japan

In 2013 reported that there are 20.000 Indonesian peoples living in Japan, Including 3.000 the illegal one. This number unfortunately decrease year by year, the main reason because the high of Japanese daily life cost and the hardness to find job in Japan, the other is discrimination which tend to happen against Indonesian in those East Country.

Indonesian in Japan



1 Comment on this article. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Nikki October 22, 2017 at 7:25 am - Reply

    Hello.. Thanks for this blog to aware The Biggest Indonesian Communities Outside Indonesia

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