2nd Igorot European Consultation
29 May-1 June 2003
By Yvonne Belen
Igorots talking about their cultural heritage, later – beating the gongs and dancing to its rhythmic sounds, singing in their languages, chanting the oggayam, saying prayers; sharing their situation as migrants; listening to the second generation; and planning for old age. These were the Igorots who gathered for the second time in Vienna, Austria from 28 May-1 June 2003 for the Igorot European Consultation. They represented different ethnolinguistic groups in the Cordillera: Ibaloi, Kankanaey, Ifugao, Bontoc, Isneg, Tingguian, and Kalinga. Majority came from the different countries in Europe. A few were from the U.S.A., Philippines and Israel. The participants were mainly first generation Igorots and some were second generation.
The consultation was a significant event for those who attended. It provided an occasion to listen, share experiences, meet new friends, renew old friendships, celebrate with songs and dances, and to plan for the future.
Many people helped to make the Consultation a success. The members and officers of IGO-Austria gave much of their time and exerted great effort in the preparatory work. The delegates and speakers from different countries traveled far and near to attend. Speakers, unable to come, sent the articles they wrote.
The participants realized that the time allotted for the discussion on Igorot culture was insufficient. There were unanswered questions. They decided to have the same theme – Igorot cultural heritage, Part II, when they meet in Switzerland in 2005.
The Proceedings are the sum of the activities during the consultation. The contents include the talks of the speakers and panelists, workshop reports, results of discussions during the plenary sessions, cultural performance during the Igorot Night – Kanyaw Babayas, prayers, and songs. The appendix contains other relevant information to the Consultation. The participants; speakers, who were present and unable to come; and supporters contributed to the making of the Proceedings.
The Proceedings provide a closing chapter to the Consultation’s activities. These will be part of our history as Igorots in Europe. The first generation Igorots want to set a tradition of writing the Proceedings after each consultation or activity. This tradition should be passed on to the second generation Igorots.
Finally, the Proceedings give all the delegates a feeling of accomplishment. At the end of the day, it is with pride that the Igorots in Europe say, “We did it.”
May the great Kabunian bless us all!
Matago-tago tako am-in!