Snapshots with Stories

9 – The Chung Hwa Congress of 1927

The Chung Hwa congress took place in Semarang on April 17 and 18, 1927, at the initiative of former members of the Chung Hwa Hui, the Chinese students’ association in the Netherlands. The congress discussed proposals on current affairs, and the possibility of setting up an organization which would protect the interest of the Chinese community in the Netherlands East Indies.

The photo above shows the preparatory commission (chairman: Yap Hong Tjoen) and the welcoming commission  (chairman: Oei Tjong Hauw) at the assembly table.

From left to right:
Thio Thiam Tjong, , The Sien Tjo, Teng Sioe Hie , Kan Hok Hoei, Oei Tjong Hauw, Yap Hong Tjoen, Han Tiauw Tjong, Be Tiat Tjong, Liem Tjiauw Liat en Tan Tek Peng .

The congress was well attended, as the following picture shows: the assembly hall filled with some 200 participants, including many women.

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On the front left the Dutch delegation is seen, including representatives of the Education Department (Mr. Jonkman) and the Office for Chinese Matters (Bruineman).

There were intense deliberations about the following proposals:
1. The wish to take part in a representative body.
2. The significance of Siang Hwee (the Chinese trade association).
3. Chinese primary education.

The congress was concluded with the acceptance of a motion in which the preparatory committee was asked to form an association “to promote ideas which would lead to the betterment of the Chinese society in the spiritual, social, political, and financial fronts.”

On April 17, participants came together for dinner at Du Pavillion:

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Chung Hwa Hui, the Chinese association of the Netherlands East Indies, was set up in April 1928 with goals including “to look after the interest of all Chinese residing in the Netherlands East Indies by means of all lawful resources”. Kan Hok Hoei (H.H. Kan) became the chairman.

The photos in this report were shot by Saito, a famous Japanese photographer in Semarang at that time.

Additional information:
Chung Hwa Congress 17 – 18 April, 1927: Proposals and Stenographic reports in the Royal Dutch Library, no 1142 E 72, en KITLV m ww 763
De Locomotief daily, April 19, 1927. “The Chung Hwa Congress in Semarang.” Royal Dutch Library microfiche.

Liem Hoo Soei, February 2013