Tag: Merdeka

Merdeka is a word in the Indonesian and Malay language meaning Independence or freedom. It is derived from the Sanskrit Maharddhika meaning “rich, prosperous and powerful”. In the Malay archipelago, this term had acquired the meaning of a freed slave. The term Mardijker is a Dutch corruption of the Portuguese version of the original Sanskrit words and was used to designate former Portuguese and Dutch slaves from India in the East Indies, known as Mardijkers, whence the Malay meaning of “free(dom)” is derived. Mardijker are the former catholic slaves bought from India and the East Indies that were liberated by the Dutch if they abandoned Catholicism and embraced the reformed Dutch church. The term was significant during the anticolonialist and pro-independence movements of the colonies of Indonesia, Malaya, and Singapore, in the history of Indonesia, history of Malaysia, and in the history of Singapore. It became a battle-cry for those demanding independence from the colonial…

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