Review: Postpakketjes van Overzee

What can I say. I just finished the book ‘Postpakketjes van Overzee’ by Dewi Deijle. It roughly translates to ‘Parcels from Oversea’.

It’s a story about her, but also about me and over 3000 others. So it’s also a collective story. It’s about us, the +3000 parcels that were shipped to the Netherlands all the way from Indonesia in the late 70’s and early 80’s of the last century.

We were all adopted by Dutch parents with the idea to give us a better live and future. They were told that our biological parents couldn’t take care of us. Mostly because of economical reasons. We would either starve or face a grim future of poverty at best.

Of course you will say that’s a very nobel thing to do and that we must consider ourselves very lucky.

Although I lead a very happy live and had very warm and loving parents. In hindsight the story isn’t as colorful as everybody thought it was.

And that story is the main theme of Dewi’s book. As she said herself it’s not a fun book. But it’s a story that must be told and shared.

So what’s it all about. In short and it’s horrible to say. The truth is that about 70% up to 80% of that group is the victem of child trafficking.

In the book Dewi describes her search for her biological mother. During her journey she slowly finds out about this horrible truth. At first it’s hard to believe, but slowly it sinks in.

As she gathers more pieces of the puzzle new questions arise and that personal search unfolds into a much bigger story than she could have ever imagined.

Could it really be that a lot of us were kidnapped from our parents and ‘sold’ for a lot of money to childless couples in the west.

If so, who is responsible. The Indonesian government, the Dutch government, the so called social workers who did all the trafficking.

These are the questions that arise and Dewi is determined to find out. As a lawyer she has the tools to dive in deep and find the truth. Who is to blame? And can they be held responsible? Will they take responsibility?

Unfornately there is still no answer to those questions. We’re still in the middle of that process.

Nevertheless, it’s a clearly written book that tells the story up to now. There are many things I can relate to. That’s why it somehow felt like reading a thriller in which I’m participating myself. Knowing that it leads to a dead end in my personal search it was still an insightfull book to read. I’ve learned a lot of new things.
And I’m sure if you aren’t familiar with this matter, it will be very insightfull.

A must read for every adopted Indonesian and the ones who are closely related to them.

For now the only question that is left: Will justice prevail ?
Only time will tell.

Curious. It’s only in Dutch, but you can order the book right here:

Postpakketjes van Overzee

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