Leiden University, Faculty of Humanities
Chinese-Indonesian restaurants are a distinct part of Dutch life. In 1911, the first small group of Chinese sailors arrived in the Netherlands. By 2011, there were more than seventy thousand people of Chinese descent, either first or second generation. Many first generation Chinese work or used to work in the restaurant business. In 1966 there were more than 1900 Chinese restaurants in the Netherlands, but by 2017 only 1100 or so remained.
My family owns one of the many Chinese-Indonesian restaurants in the Netherlands, De Chinese Pagode. I was born in the Netherlands and grew up in the middle of the Chinese-Indonesian restaurant life. My parents have worked in Chinese-Indonesian restaurants ever since they came to the Netherlands. As a family, we loved to gather together while enjoying good food. Throughout the year, there were different kinds of food associated with different festivities. These experiences sparked my interest in food and Chinese culture, which resulted in my enrollment in the BA China Studies programme and MA Asian Studies at Leiden University, and eventually this zone on Things That Talk.
Through combining personal experiences and research, this zone covers the myriad of things associated with Chinese-Indonesian restaurants, ranging from food dishes to the buildings where the dishes are prepared. In doing so, the zone explores and exhibits the beauty of Chinese-Indonesian restaurants in the Netherlands.
Come, sit down, and let us guide you through De Chinese Pagode in this short tour