Joty ter Kulve – Van Os

Introducing Joty ter Kulve-Van Os


In fact Joty ter Kulve is ‘the founding mother’ of the Indonesia Nederland Society.

Ten years ago Joty, together with her brother Willem van Os, who alas passed away, started the endeavour to transform the house of their youth in Linggarjati (formerly spelled as Linggadjati) into a Lieu de Mémoire because it was there that in 1946 in a sphere of mutual respect the ‘Linggadjati Agreement’ was negotiated. During these days of deliberation the conditions were laid for reconciliation, friendship and future cooperation between the Netherlands and Indonesia in the long term.

Thanks to the accomplishment of the siblings Joty and Wim, this house and its lush gardens, once built by their father Koos van Os, now is a national museum of Indonesia that is broadly visited by both Indonesians and Dutch. By designating the house in which the negotiations once took place into a national monument, the Indonesian government honoured the diplomatic efforts of their founding fathers Soekarno, Hatta and Sjahrir as well as the Dutch diplomats to achieve Independence for Indonesia.

Joty and her brother established the Foundation ‘Friends of Linggadjati’ early this century that later on developed into the Indonesia Nederland Society as we know it today.

Mrs. Joty ter Kulve – despite her respectable age – still contributes strongly to the mission of INS, being: ‘working together to strengthen our identities by reconciliation, friendship and cooperation, respecting our Asian and European background, culture and potential’. And in addition she describes ‘our task is to reach the generation of my grandchildren, the millions of youngsters that want to build a sustainable world where there is enough space for everyone’s need, but not for everyone’s greed.’

Mrs. Joty fully endorses the underneath quote of mr. Umar Hadi, an internationally respected Indonesian diplomat and good friend of hers:

“Yes, Indonesia is a success story of transformation into the 21st century. But more importantly, we must ensure that good news from Indonesia is sustainable. And I am optimistic that it will be sustainable. Five reasons why:

Firstly: democracy is here to stay. It provides political stability. And we will work hard to ensure that democracy: islam and modernity will thrive. The election of Mr. Joko Widodo as President of Indonesia once again proved that Indonesians are becoming more mature in democracy. We are no longer prone to provocations based on religion or ethnic groups. We elect leaders directly based on merits.

Secondly: economic growth is based on investment and domestic consumption. Indonesia today is the largest economy in Southeast Asia with a GDP of more than 1 trillion USD, the 15th largest economy in the world.

Thirdly: we have a strong export sector, but we are not dependent on any foreign market.

Fourthly: we have abundant and diverse natural resources. And we have begun to manage them more prudently. We have realized that economic growth must be pursued with sustainability.

Fifthly: we are enjoying a demographic dividend. More than half of the Indonesians are younger than 29 years of age. Most importantly, this is a generation with more educated mothers who understand nutrition and sanitation. This is a generation of smaller families with two or three children only. This is a generation better connected with the world—the second largest users of Facebook and third of Twitter’’