Indonesian immigrants: Barack Obama and Indonesia

Indonesian immigrants

Although Indonesia’s ties with the United States have historically been limited, the Southeast Asian nation has a special connection with the forty-fourth president of the United States. Between the ages of six and ten, future U.S. president Barack Obama lived in Jakarta, Indonesia, while his mother was married to an Indonesian man. Obama attended two schools in Indonesia and learned to speak some Indonesian—the only language other than English that he speaks. While he was in Indonesia, his mother gave birth to a daughter, Maya Soetoro, by her Indonesian husband. Obama’s half sister holds dual American and Indonesian citizenship. She later completed her education in the United States and became a teacher in Hawaii. Adding to her family’s rich ethnic mix, she married the Canadian-born son of Malaysian Chinese immigrants to Canada and became Maya Soetoro-Ng.

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