Wednesday Seminar

Seminar No.  1070
 December 4, 2019 Time: 14:30-15:30 hrs. at 109 Sabua Room, 1st Floor

Acculturation of Indonesian Migrants in Thailand

By:  Zamal Nasution

Abstract

According to the statistics in 2017, from the total 3,200 population of Indonesians in Thailand, about 50% of them are students, followed by 30% employees, and 20% dependents. Even though some of them have been living in Thailand for more than 30 years, the literature concerning their acculturation process was limited. As the first academic work, this research aims to explore their acculturation strategy. In more detail, how the individual factors, migration experiences, and social network influence their acculturation. Furthermore, how do the trans-nationalism practices interact with acculturation, and the influence of migration policy to the acculturation strategy. This research use mixed method of quantitative and qualitative analysis. To collect the quantitative data, online survey was used during February to May 2019. The qualitative data instruments were in-depth interview, participate observation, and focus group discussion. The respondents must still hold the Indonesian citizenship, beyond 18 years old, and have been living in Thailand for at least 3 months. The quantitative data showed that most respondents practiced the integration and followed by separation strategy. The assimilation was correlated with integration, integration was correlated with separation, and assimilation was correlated with marginalization. The chi-square tests found that acculturation was associated with the individual factors such as religion, education attainment, nationality of the partner, and occupation in Thailand. Acculturation was also associated with migration experiences in terms of length of stay in Thailand, regularity of visa, and permanent resident holding. The number of people in contact in the last two weeks was 12 to 57 people with 27 people in median, and 68% of them have diverse level of social network in particular with friends and family. Regarding the trans-nationalism practices, 91% respondents visit Indonesia every 6 months and 82.1% attending Indonesian social and cultural events in Thailand. They show high engagement in family, cultural, economic, and political ties with Indonesia and its society; except the low intensity on conducting business for Indonesian customers and participation on Indonesian political party movement in Thailand. The qualitative data showed that students residential concentrating in one place with other Indonesians group, nearby the campus, and on the same cheap apartment which allowed them to cook or nearby the halal food vendors. Most of daily communication among the Indonesians using the Indonesian language, where they use either in meeting or on the social media. The internet service support all the respondents to engage with the social media. The Indonesian Embassy held regular events and invited Indonesians to join. Beside the event inside the embassy, there were cultural events held at the mall, shopping arcade, and campus.