When Ethnics Compete the Lands: Historical Study on the Racial Riots in Solo City, Central Java, Indonesia

Priyanto Wibowo


ABSTRACT: The riots in Solo, Central Java, Indonesia, become an historical phenomenon with different perceived conclusions. The political approach gives an answer that the riots have taken place due to the loss of political and cultural identities in line with the disappearance of feudalistic structures which have mastered Solo for ages. The economic approach tends to use Marxist analysis, i.e. the existence of the exploitation of the production facility owners toward the majority. Meanwhile, the sociological approach concludes that there is a conflict thinking pattern in the community to cope with the problems considered as the foundation for their collective memory. In the context of racial riots and chaos in Solo City has often taken place in various scales. From Mataram kingdom in the seventeenth century to the “Orde Baru (New Order) government in twentieth century, there were tragedies but the basic causes and core problems of the tragedies were not yet clearly known. This paper revealed the chaotic tragedy in Solo, Central Java, Indonesia, particularly the racial tragedy blaming the Chinese ethnic who was considered to fight over the topographical city space. The double standards of the settlement policy done by the Solo royal palace and the Dutch colonial government formed the city space which was potentially conflicting. This paper is not a superficial study which has been done so far, but it clearly illustrates how this conflict actually took place in order that public can get in-depth understanding regarding the issue.

KEY WORDS: Chinese ethnic, Solo city, royal palace, Dutch colonial, Indonesian government, discrimination and alienation, chaotic tragedy, and city space.

About the Author: Dr. Priyanto Wibowo is a Senior Lecturer at the Chinese Study Programme, Department of History, Faculty of Humanities UI (University of Indonesia), UI Campus Depok, West Java, Indonesia. Corresponding author is: endah_hwl@yahoo.com

How to cite this article? Wibowo, Priyanto. (2013). “When Ethnics Compete the Lands: Historical Study on the Racial Riots in Solo City, Central Java, Indonesia” in TAWARIKH: International Journal for Historical Studies, Vol.5(1) October, pp.17-28. Bandung, Indonesia: ASPENSI [Asosiasi Sarjana Pendidikan Sejarah Indonesia] and UVRI [Universitas Veteran Republik Indonesia], ISSN 2085-0980.

Chronicle of the article: Accepted (August 19, 2013); Revised (September 21, 2013); and Published (October 28, 2013).

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