"Feels Like Home": Understanding Indonesian Christians in Auckland

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dc.contributor.advisor Dureau, Christine
dc.contributor.advisor Thompson, Nicholas
dc.contributor.author Al Isra, Andi Batara
dc.date.accessioned 2022-06-07T02:59:36Z
dc.date.available 2022-06-07T02:59:36Z
dc.date.issued 2021 en
dc.identifier.uri https://hdl.handle.net/2292/59556
dc.description.abstract This ethnographic research explores how religion and nationality are significant for the lives of immigrants of Indonesian Christian Community in one of the Protestant Churches in Auckland, New Zealand. Some scholars have claimed that becoming a part of a religious community far from home can provide a needed sense of religiosity, group-identity, solidarity, and belonging. Such things make Indonesian Christians in Auckland perceive the church as a “home” and other congregants as “family”. In investigating these themes, I examine how religion, identity, rootedness, transnationalism, liminality, nostalgia, as well as theologizing and alienating experiences, intertwine each other. The state of Indonesian Christians in Indonesia and in New Zealand is different: while they are a minority in both places, the nature of that minority is different in each case— members of a Christian minority in a Muslim-majority country in one place and members of a minority immigrant Christian community in a secular society, albeit with strong Christian history, in the second. In New Zealand, the reality that they live in this largely secular society makes the membership of national-religious based community extremely important to congregants’ identity and faith. With their multiple identities (as Indonesians and Christians and, for many, Chinese), they remain “rooted” in their home country and develop new “roots” in the host country at the same time. Despite this sense of rootedness, they often feel liminal: feeling nostalgia or experiencing the betwixt and between state regarding their belonging. In the strange place of New Zealand, most members of the community experienced what scholars describe as a theologizing experience (becoming more religious), arguing that some migrants experienced a faith-deepening process. Many scholars mention the socially adaptive aspects of religious community in new environments. It is important to note that immigrant religious communities address people’s state of being: their attitudes towards others and the provision of material benefits such as networks, moral support, and food. By facilitating such things, the church community enables people to feel like they are at home by keeping (re)constructing familiar social and cultural practices and experiencing nostalgia about what home was (mythically) like. Ultimately, their concern about New Zealand is challenging and potentially undermines their and their children’s sense of being properly Christians and properly Indonesians. A fear of being uprooted from their “roots”.
dc.publisher ResearchSpace@Auckland en
dc.relation.ispartof Masters Thesis - University of Auckland en
dc.relation.isreferencedby UoA en
dc.rights Items in ResearchSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.
dc.rights.uri https://researchspace.auckland.ac.nz/docs/uoa-docs/rights.htm en
dc.rights.uri https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/nz
dc.title "Feels Like Home": Understanding Indonesian Christians in Auckland
dc.type Thesis en
thesis.degree.discipline Anthropology
thesis.degree.grantor The University of Auckland en
thesis.degree.level Masters en
dc.date.updated 2022-05-31T05:45:29Z
dc.rights.holder Copyright: the author en
dc.rights.accessrights http://purl.org/eprint/accessRights/OpenAccess en

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