NISIS PhD candidate at the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies at the University of Groningen. Research project: The Hadrami Arabs of Ambon: An Ethnographic Study of Diasporic Identity Construction in Everyday Life Practices. Keywords: Hadrami Arabs - Ambon - Indonesia.
The Hadrami Arabs of Ambon: An Ethnographic Study of Diasporic Identity Construction in Everyday Lfe Practices
Ambon is one of the main destinations in the eastern part of Indonesia where the Hadrami migrants searched for fortune and established a community. The history of the Hadrami migration especially to Indonesia from the late eighteenth until the beginning of the twentieth century is often regarded as a success story in social, economic, political, and religious terms, both with reference to their homeland and to their host-societies. The main contributive factors to their success are their preservation of a distinct cultural identity and their shared religion with the majority of the Indonesian population. These factors enabled them not only to develop transnational networks but also to integrate themselves into their host-societies. In this regard, the aim of this research is to study the interplay between ethnicity and religion in the construction of identity and in the social integration of present-day descendants of Hadrami Arab migrants to Ambon. The research is thus to understand how ethnicity and religion intersect in the individual and collective construction of identity of present-day Hadrami Arab descendants in Ambon and how this relates to their positions in Ambonese socio-economic, political and religious power constellations.
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