From the Domestic Service to the Public Sphere: the Role of Native Servants in the Colonial Tourism Accomodation in the Dutch East Indies

One important aspect of colonial tourism in the Dutch East-Indies is accommodation. These can be hotel, losmen (inn), and pasanggrahan (guest house/bungalow). In its history, the development of the accommodation in the Dutch East-Indies can be traced until the seventeen century in the VOC era.

Started from stadsherberg (city inn) and stadsheerenlogementen (municipal boarding house for gentleman) to the modern international hotels. Various parties involved in the development of the accommodation in the Dutch East-Indies. This article will be focused on the role of native servants in the tourism accommodation in the Dutch East-Indies in the 19th century until the 20th century. By using the historical method, cultural and sociological approach we can trace the process of shifting that took place in the history of accommodation in the Dutch East-Indies. These changes include the use of the terms that is from colonial domestics (households) to public sphere, such as jongos, babu, kebon, kokki which were originally known in the colonial (European or Dutch) households. These terms became later known and used also in the world of accommodation in the Dutch East-Indies. The role of native servants is crucial in supporting colonial tourism in Dutch East-Indies. The sources are used from books, photographs, postcards, magazines, advertisements, newspapers, magazines, guidebook of tourism as well as various travelogues from that time.

photograph source: KITLV

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