Makam Belanda (Kerkhof)

(Dutch Graves)

On the N.W. side of the Makalam Bridge, in the City of Jambi, there is a graveyard that contains a number of Dutch, American, and Chinese graves. A satellite view of this location can be found by clicking this link.

Below is a video we made of this graveyard:

The official name of the graveyard is “Makam Belanda (Kerkhof).” The literal translation from bahasa Indonesia into English, of the first two words is “grave” and “Dutch.” The third word, “Kerkhof,” is a Dutch word, and using an online translator, we discovered it to mean “cemetery.”

We looked diligently for the oldest and the most recent tomb stone, and the oldest we found was dated 1918, which was that of “Elisabeth Victoria Clementine.” The most recent we found was a 5 year old child, buried in 1987, whose first name was “Tamas” (probably a derivative of “Thomas”).

The size of the graveyard is a little under 1 acre. At this time many of the graves have fallen into disrepair, and only a handful of the writings on the tombstones are legible. It is evident that many of the people who are buried there were not soldiers or representatives of the Dutch colonial authority, but were perhaps descendants of the Dutch, who chose to remain in Jambi after Indonesia gained its independence in 1945.

On a handful of the graves you can clearly read the Dutch writings on the tombstone. Some common words found, and there translation from Dutch to English is as follows:

  • Hier Rust—here rests
  • Geboren—born
  • Overleden—deceased
  • Dison Maradian—These two words are possibly from the Batak language of North Sumatra, and the phrase means: “Here Rests….”     “Dison” meaning “here,” and “Maradian” means “rest” or “rests.”