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How Dutch Indonesians Found Home in San Diego

A social group is keeping culture alive through food, music, and stories

Originally published on San Diego Magazine, May 29, 2024


Dutch Indonesians standing in line for Indonesian food at a potluck gathering in San Diego
Courtesy of Dutch Indos in San Diego

The savory scents of Indonesian ayam pedis and Dutch bitterballen and the convivial tunes of The Tielman Brothers drift over the Mission Bay as a winding line forms under the bright blue tents that cover the Dutch Indos in San Diego potluck buffet. Kids run around, their parents lounging in lawn chairs, as conversations weave from Dutch to English. A couple in their 90s dances on the grass. It’s a party—or actually, a kumpulan.


Today’s kumpulan (Indonesian for social gathering) is the brainchild of Valley Center native and third generation “Dutch Indo” Andrea Matthies, 51. Matthies founded the social group Dutch Indos in San Diego in 2014 to connect the large—but fragmented—local Dutch Indonesian community. “Most Indos of my generation grew up in English-speaking households, not really knowing much about their background,” Matthies explains. She wanted to get back in touch with her Dutch Indonesian roots and community. As it turns out, others did too.


Read the rest of the article here. 

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