Bibliographic data

Darmono; Arsyad, O.K. Abd.: Geografi Indonesia (Ilmu Bumi Indonesia). Vol. 2. Medan: Penerbit Monora, 1972, 36–38.

Migration in the 3rd millennium BC

[p. 36]


M i g r a t i o n

What is referred to as migration is the movement of inhabitants from one place to another place. This movement towards Indonesia has been occurring since the old times approximately 2,000–3,000 years before Christ.

Reasons for the movement:

Principally, it occurred because of dissatisfaction, restlessness, the need to get something new and so on. Beside these general reasons, there are also specific reasons, among others:

[Sketch of a mine with an iron bridge and a tower. Workers are in the front.]

[caption] Image 4 Indonesian people work in a mine in Suriname.

  • 1. Economic reasons : The need to obtain a better and more prosperous life, like the movement of people from West Sumatra, the Bataks, to East Sumatra, the Javanese out of Java, the Madurese to East Java and alike.
  • 2. Political reasons : The escape at the time of the First and Second Clasha from the Dutch area to the area of the Republic, which caused severe suffering.
  • 3. Political and religious reasons : The movement of the people of Majapahit from East Java to Balambangan and further to Bali.

[p. 37]

  • 4. Natural disasters as reasons : The movement caused by flooding, volcanic eruptions and so on.
  • 5. The need to exploit the work force by the government in power : For example the movement of Indonesian inhabitants during the Dutch period to Caledonia, Suriname and so on.


When we consider the territorial borders which the inhabitants who move cross, we can divide as follows:

  • I. International Migration, namely the movement of populations around the world in general.
  • II. National Migration, namely the movement of populations from one area to another area within one state.

Furthermore, when we consider the characteristics of migration, it can be divided as follows:

  • 1. Emigration : namely the movement of populations from one state to another state and the further permanent living in this state.
  • 2. Immigration : namely the entry of people who come from one state into another state.

[Map of South East Asia with numbered arrows. The arrows No. 1 lead from India to Sumatra and from China to Borneo. Arrow No. 2 leads from Java to the Pacific region. Arrow No. 3 is a broken line from the Pacific region to Java. Arrow No. 4 is the same broken line leading to Sumatra. Arrow No. 5 leads from Java to Borneo. Arrow No. 6 leads from one region in Borneo to another. In the left corner on the bottom there is a box containing infographics with the title "City & Surroundings". At the centre of the box, there is, a circle and many small spots around it. There are numbered arrows as well. Arrows No. 7 lead from outside to the circle in the middle. Arrows No. 8 lead from the circle to the wider surroundings. Arrows No. 9 lead from the circle to the nearer surroundings.]

[text in the picture:] City and Surroundings

[caption:] Explanation of Image 5

1. Immigration 2. Emigration 3. Remigration 4. Deportation 5. National migration (transmigration) 6. Local migration 7. Urbanisation 8. Retour aux champ 9. Working in town, living outside of town.

[p. 38]

  • 3. Return migration : people who moved to another country a long time ago and return, then, to their place of origin, for example: the return of the Chinese to China as well as the repatriation from Suriname and Caledonia after the Governmental Regulation No. 10 b etc.

  • 4. Transmigration (local migration, national migration) : is the movement of populations within their own country, namely the movement of inhabitants from one province to another province. For example from Java to the villages and so on.

  • 5. Seasonal emigration : is the temporary movement of people from one place to another place or one country to another country and the return. The aim is to look for a livelihood during one season like the Madurese in East Java or the people from Banten in Lampung.

  • 6. Urbanisation : this is the centralisation of population who come from villages in cities.

  • 7. The return to the village (LE Retour Aux Champs) : return to villages as recommended by the government to secure the balance of population in cities and villages or in the case of a city-depression.

  • 8. Commuting : these are the workers in cities, who live far from the city.
    This happens because of a lack of housing in the city and because of good infrastructure as well as the lower food prices.

  • 9. Tourism : this is travelling or day trips. (Give an example for every kind and its background).


[a] Editor’s note: The English loan word clash refers to the so-called police actions during the years 1947 and 1948/1949. After the Second World War, the Netherlands had to surrender Java and Sumatra to the United States of Indonesia and only kept control over Borneo and Eastern Indonesia. Through military interventions, the Netherlands temporarily regained parts of Java and Sumatra. They called these interventions police actions in order to show to the world that it was an internal issue within the Dutch Kingdom. See Wikipedia, (04.11.2016).

[b] Editor’s note: P.P. no. 10 in the original text refers to Peraturan Pemerintah , governmental regulations declared in the year 1961 which led to the repatriation of Indonesians from Suriname and Caledonia.


Recommended citation: