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Second Generation Swiss Filipinos partner with University of Lucerne in promoting awareness on the Philippines


The Network of Integrated Pnoys (Noi-P), a network of second generation Swiss-Filipino professionals based in Switzerland, and the Philippine Studies Network (PSN) of the University of Lucerne, successfully organized on 19 October 2013 a conference on Philippine culture and society entitled, “The Philippines Today: Between Changes and Continuities”. The event was attended by more than fifty (50) people, mostly from the academic community, graduate and post-graduate students from all over Switzerland, with a number coming from Germany, and professionals who have done research work on the Philippines. 


Dr. Bettina Beer welcomes the participants to the conference

The conference was opened by Dr. Bettina Beer, a professor of anthropology from the University of Lucerne. In her speech, she shared her encounter with the culture of the Aetas, one of the indigenous groups in the Philippines, during one of her annual immersion trips to the country with her students.

The morning discussions focused on social and cultural change in the Philippines, dealing with a wide range of topics from the evolution/development of language within the Philippine social contexts, the impact of mining on the local populace, to the correlation between social status and energy consumption in the Philippines. 

A graduate student also shared her experience during her six-week immersion trip to the Philippines as part of the Philippine Studies program offered by the Department of Ethology of the University of Lucerne. She discussed the structure and cultural values of Filipino families, taking her host family and her adopted community as an example.

The afternoon session examined the profile of Philippine migration and health issues relating to migration, specifically focusing on land-based migrants, Filipino domestic workers, and undocumented migrants in Geneva.

From the multitude of questions raised after each of the presentations, there was obviously a keen interest on the Philippines from among the participants, most of whom have done research work on topics about the Philippines while some have visited the Philippines a number of times. University students present and who have not yet been to the Philippines also posed questions, out of curiosity and genuine desire to know more about aspects of Philippine culture and society. 


Participants include professionals, researchers, and graduate students

The event provided an opportunity for Philippinists and those who are not yet familiar with the Philippines to exchange experiences and knowledge and to explore areas of mutual interests to them. It also offered a good opportunity to promote awareness of the Philippines among Swiss professionals and the Swiss academic community.


The event was the second this year organized by of the Noi-P; the first one was a dance workshop on various traditional Philippine dances held in May in Zürich.

Since its inception in 2010, Noi-P has been organizing events to promote Philippine culture to Swiss and Swiss-Filipino audiences alike. The group is also involved in charity work and has served as reference point for various Swiss as well as international organizations wanting to know more about the Philippines and the Filipino community in Switzerland.


 

Conference speakers &  Noi-P members with Consul Tess Lazaro &
Cultural Officer Irene Sadang


The Philippine Studies Network (PSN), on the other hand, is based at the Department of Ethnology of the University of Lucerne. Founded in 2012 by individuals from Lucerne, Berne, Zürich and Geneva, the network aims to encourage linkages within Switzerland and the rest of Europe among those who wish to explore and deepen studies relating to the Philippines. END

 
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