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Full-Text Articles in Political Science
More Than A Cultural Celebration: The Politics Of Chinese New Year In Post-Suharto Indonesia, Chang Yau Hoon
Research Collection School of Social Sciences
In the aftermath of the May 1998 riots that forced President Suharto to step down, ethnic Chinese received unprecedented freedom to assert their long suppressed cultural and religious identity. Following the transition from assimilation to multiculturalism, for the first time in over three decades Chinese culture became more visible and ethnic Chinese could finally enjoy the freedom to celebrate Chinese New Year (Imlek) publicly. This article focuses on the politics of the re-emergent Chinese New Year celebration in the Indonesian public sphere. It demonstrates the significance of Imlek as an ethnic symbol to Chinese-Indonesians. Borrowing Hobsbawm’s concept of “invented ...