The Past as Ideology

Janet Hoskins

in The Play of Time

Published by University of California Press

Published in print January 1994 | ISBN: 9780520080034
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520919136 | DOI:
The Past as Ideology

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History, called sejarah in Indonesia, is a relative latecomer to local discourse. The concept has come, moreover, with a very specific form and intent: in creating “history,” Kodi commentators joined the nationalist quest for an Indonesian past and committed themselves to an ideology of progressive, directed time that would take them “out of darkness and into light.” The “darkness” of the past was, in this vision, recent, coinciding with the period of colonial domination. The concept of historical progression was thus presented as the recovery of a national destiny, a “return” to the splendor of the precolonial empires and a realization of indigenous social democracy in a new era. The meeting with the Indonesian sejarah gave “history” a very specific ideological content.

Keywords: history; sejarah; Indonesia; Kodi; time; darkness; light; destiny

Chapter.  11664 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Anthropology

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