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The Shophouse and the Chinese

The Shophouse and the Chinese

(p.28) Chapter 2 The Shophouse and the Chinese
After the New Order
Abidin Kusno
University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter shows how the ruko—a Chinese commercial establishment—in its various expressions and transformations over time, engages in the history, culture, and politics of thriving urban environments in Indonesia. There have been many negative accounts on the presence of ruko in the country. Researchers use words such as “flooding” and “epidemic” to describe the phenomenal resurgence of the ruko, claiming that the event has caused “caused traffic jams, a decline of public safety, an increase of garbage, and the degradation of the visual environment.” Reports further indicate that the ruko has lost its character as owners “modernize its appearance” with no regard to its earlier typology.

Keywords:   ruko, typology, Chinese commercial establishment, Indonesia, urban environments

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