WORSKHOP: SECOND GENERATION IGOROTS

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2nd Igorot European Consultation

Vienna, Austria

29 May-1 June 2003

WORSKHOP: SECOND GENERATION IGOROTS

Convenor: IGO-Austria Youth

Presented by Claire Alacyang

Members:

Ms. Claire Alacyang                          - Ireland                                 

Ms. Hilda Bongguick                         - Austria                                 

Mr. Patrick Bounggick, Jr.                 - Austria

Ms. Lani Abeya-Barnabas                  - USA

Ms. Linda Fagyan                               - UK                           

Mr. Edmund Jr. Earl Bugnosen          - UK

In this issue we want to share the issues identified by a second generation Igorots and recommendations contributed during the discussion.

Issues

1. Who are the First, second, third etc… generation Igorots?

As I approached my seat, somebody asked me which generation do I belong. I was puzzled as the one beside me said that the 2nd generation are the ones born in Europe, which means that I belong to the 1st generation. Not satisfied, I approached the elders and asked their ideas. The other said because I am 30 yrs old, I belong to the 1st  as the 2nd are 18 years and younger. I tried to defend myself not belonging to the 1st  as I am still in the process of learning the culture and traditions of the Igorots and I am not as knowledgeable as the elders who are present during the consultation. Which means then that I belong to the 2nd. Nobody gave further comment.

2. Youth participation

Youth always find an excuse in joining the cultural presentation or joining any consultation or even joining BIBAK/BIMAAK or IGO organizations, which prevent them from getting involved in several activities. This is due to lack of understanding of why these activities are being carried out. Parents need to discuss with their children the reason why we are attending these consultations and joining such organizations. Parents have to discuss with their children about their acceptance, willingness, and understanding of the culture and tradition of being an Igorot, because forcing the children without explanation will just lead to rebellion, as they are not ready to acknowledge who they really are.

3. Communication

            Parents lack answering their children’s questions with honesty and expect the children to understand the culture without explanation. Parents also lack the acceptance and acknowledgement to the new changes of the new generation.   

4. Embarrassment

            Though Igorot costumes are being worn occasionally, the youth feel uncomfortable wearing them. Though wearing tapis is more acceptable, wearing g-string (baag) makes the male very embarrassed as they feel they are being primitive. Each of us wants to be accepted by everyone and not look funny in the eyes of one.

5. Role models

            Elders or parents should be role models to their children. Showing respect and warm affectionate relationship in front of their children gives the children an idea on how to value and show how to love. Lifestyle such as drinking, smoking or gambling inside a home is not a healthy practice and children will either follow or disregard what they see. But with the strong peer relationship and strong environmental influence of parents, especially inside the home, being a role model to their children is a very big factor in bringing up their children.

            Another thing, parents specifically fathers who do not want to wear g- string( baag) make their children dislike to wear them. And women who wear their Igorot costume make more women accept wearing the indigenous attire.

6. Marriage

            Most Igorot parents always say to their children that they should marry an Igorot. How we wish!

            With us going around the world, we should be non-judgmental of others, as whatever nationality or whatever province we meet, we should learn to accept the differences. And to the ones who are married to foreigners we should make them be accepted too.

7. Education

            Being an Igorot is not to be ashamed of. We know for a fact that even our countrymen, when they hear the word Igorot, they think that we are very funny looking, uneducated, very primitive, and men with tails. We have to tell others that Igorots are just like the other person next to them. We should make ourselves be accepted by a crowd.

            Both parents and children should not to be judgmental of other culture. We need to learn others culture too.

8. Youth’s contribution to economy.

            Youth think that knowing how to perform an Igorot dance or knowing how to play gongs are enough in contributing to the economy. We should also think of ways on what or how can we contribute to the improvement to the economy.

Recommendations:

1. Communication to be enhanced among the family members to make each of them feel that they are being loved. Children need parents’ acknowledgement be it on simple things or achievements: such as saying how are you, how’s school, good job, or even saying I love you. We know for a fact that Igorots are not affectionate verbally but they show their love by saying that you should study well, but simple warm words uttered by a parent to their children are heart enlightening. Parents should also accept and acknowledge the changes and assimilate it to the new generation. Parents should also make the children understand honestly the questions raised especially when it comes to culture and traditions.  As we know we have different culture from the others and that we have our cultural identity.

2. Be role models to the young.

3. Youth act or contribute in the improvement of the economy such as helping during the fund raising, help in pushing through a project such as sponsoring scholarship programs for the needy.

4. Make BIBAK/BIMAAK, IGO a form of socialization and make it as fun to gain the participation and understanding of the youth that will allow them to get involved with other people.

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