Saturday, February 04, 2006

Today -- Bayanihan, Identity, Culture and Empowerment

I'm blogging about this because it's something I've been thinking about a lot. Glad too that I decided to go to this training for a Network of Volunteers that was given by Stichting Bayanihan .

Getting together with these women after a looooong absence made me realize just how much my own personal search has changed me and influenced the way I look at others. I found today's training insightful as among the subjects tackled was that of Identity and Culture and how recognition of the things we face in regards to our uprootment from the land of our birth can be either a source of weakness or empowerment.

This is a subject dear to my heart. Hearing my own thoughts and reflections of the past months echoed in the words of fifteen other volunteers, made me realize just how much we tend to keep silent when it comes to our feelings of loss and longing. I think of how this could have its root in our culture where we are taught to suffer in silence.

In truth, I believe giving voice to our suffering, giving voice to our pain is what frees and empowers us.

And while not all of us do write, the words of these women sing in my mind and in my heart like poetry...

ben ik
my first name

ben ik
my second title

ben ik
So I embrace

I am
breaking down walls

my bridges
opening my doors.



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