Monday, July 11, 2011

Filipinos Love to Celebrate

Coming from a country that has been greatly influenced by western culture, American culture in particular, I can say that most of our celebrations and ceremonies have western influence. Debuts, weddings, birthday parties, graduation ceremonies and celebrations... almost everything has a touch of American culture. When we moved to Japan and then here in Germany, the cultures are so different and the traditions so distinct that I would often find myself stopping and thinking of how to best describe our culture and distinct traditions each time I am asked about it.

But one thing is for sure, we Filipinos love to celebrate. We love to celebrate life, we love to celebrate success, we love to celebrate family, we love to celebrate love so that in every occasion, you can expect that there will be a little gathering, no matter how small it is. For the bigger and more important milestones, we send out invitations. I remember when I graduated from college. We had to decide between sending out graduation invitations or not. To keep the affair casual, we only sent the official invites to a chosen few and then sent out sms and email invites to close friends and family. In most cases, it is understood that the whole clan is invited whenever there are events such as graduation parties, birthdays, baptisms, weddings. So we need to reserve for 30 persons more. For us, the celebration is not complete with the whole clan and you could say it is a reunion altogether.

That is one of the things that I miss now that we are here living as expats. I miss celebrating with my big circle of family and friends. I miss the special dishes that my mom would prepare and the crazy and funny things me and my siblings and cousins would do.

Despite problems, we still make it a point that we get to celebrate even the simplest occasion. I guess that is why in the Philippines, you will find at least one place that celebrates it's town fiesta. With its 7107 islands, you can be sure that there is a fiesta going on daily, 365 days.

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