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Review Buku : Chinese Pioneers On The Sarawak Frontier 1841-1941

  • Written by  Ivan Taniputera
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Budaya-Tionghoa.Net | Hari ini saya ingin berbagi mengenai buku yang menarik ini, yang berjudul "Chinese Pioneers on the Sarawak Frontier" karya Daniel Chew. Apa yang menarik dalam buku ini adalah mengenai kongsi para penambang di Bau, Serawak. Selama ini yang terkenal adalah kongsi-kongsi penambang di kawasan Kalimantan Barat, kongsi para penambang di Serawak kemungkinan sudah banyak dilupakan orang. Saya akan coba menampilkan beberapa kutipan dari buku ini:

"Many of the Hakka men had Land Dayak spouses. Over an extended period of time, a mixed Chinese-Land Dayak community had emerged in Bau, with kinship links traced to Sambas. There were few obstacles to Chinese-Land Dayak marital union. There was no religious barrier to mixed marriages. The eating of pork, drinking of alcohol,a nd a propensity for gambling wer social characteristics shared alike by the Chinese and the Land Dayaks. The fact that the Hakka miners treated their natives wives well could have made these cross-cultural marriages a stable feature of kongsi life. For the women, marriage to Chinese men was believed to lead to a better standard of living materially, given the reputed industry of the miners. The children of these marriages were invariably brought up as Chinese. this could have been due to the influence of the kongsi which, as the focus of political power, helped to preserve Chinese cultural and social values." Halaman 28.

Bahkan kongsi di Serawak ini juga pernah terlibat perselisihan dengan James Brooke:

Kongsi-Brooke Rivalry

"The autonomus existence of the kongsi was ultimately challenged by James Brooke. It was by no means certain that James Brooke could claim uncontested sovereignty over Bau. Conflicting claims to dominion were to arise. The Kuching based Rajah was to try to impose his will on bau, extend his ideas on criminal jurisdiction, and levy "taxes" on opium consumed by the Bau residents" (halaman 29).

Ini menandakan adanya keserakahan orang kulit putih, baik Inggris maupun Belanda dalam mendapatkan keuntungan sebesar-besarnya. Mereka senantiasa kurang puas dengan wilayah yang telah diperolehnya dan senantiasa ingin memperluas wilayah kekuasaannya.

 

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