BUKIDNON VIEWS: Loreta Sol Dinlayan on Kaamulan and ethnicity (Last of two parts)

BUKIDNON VIEWS:
Commentary:
By Loreta Sol Dinlayan for Bukidnon News

Kaamulan and ethnicity
(Last of two parts)

MALAYBALAY CITY (Bukidnon News/26 February) Another form of distortion in dealing with culture is ethno-centrism where an individual puts his culture on a pedestal reducing other cultures into inferior ones.

Kaamulan season may set Bukidnon culture on a pedestal but not to the
extent of downgrading those who are not Bukidnons by blood. I heard, a
few times, some Lumads saying ‘Amo ning Bukidnon, pang-uli mo didto sa
aha mo gikan’ (Bukidnon is ours, you go home to wherever you come
from).

This is an expression of an exclusivist. This depicts ethno-centrism.
Ethnic identity can become an element for idolatry where a person
looks at his culture more than looking at the wider sphere of cultural
differences.

Cultural differences produce pool of creativity and colors where one
can learn from each other. Ethno-centrism will scar human
relationships.

On the other hand, Lumads are also victims of ethno-centrism where
others treat them as like 2Ps, accordingly. The notion 2Ps stands for
pobre (poor) and paglong (ignorant).

In fact, I also heard about the joke on an added tribe in Bukidnon,
the “Hingaonon” which means people who likes to eat (tinapa!) a lot.
This is a result of an extreme admiration to one’s culture, a sort of
loyalty to one’s ethnic group that reduces others as ‘outsiders’ or
worst less humans.

I remember that cultural activity at the Kaamulan theatre years ago
when there was a tribal gathering where speakers have to shout while
delivering their speech and men and women have to group together
during night time because electric power source mal-functioned.

The sound system was not fixed in time for the three-day affair but
the show went on, perhaps, because people are used to live without
electricity, anyway!

I pitied them. In our humble home, we used to provide spoon and fork
to our fellow Bukidnons from the barrios even if they don’t know how
to use them.

As Datu Bagangbangan said that they are not different from the rest of
humanity. This statement clarifies that even culture and ethnicity
have no power to build walls among individuals.

Ethnicity is not divisive though it indicates distinct and varied
cultures. Ethnicity should not be used as a tool for building wall
between two peoples having different cultures.

Ethnicity is not equal with antiquity because culture is dynamic.
Material culture preservation is not quite possible because as time
evolves so is the culture’s material aspect. Only the soul of culture
remains in the consciousness of the peoples who possess it.

What could Kaamulan 2012 offer to us? To give credit to effort exerted
for the sake of Kaamulan, I am preparing for it. My accessories are
ready for the Bukidnon dance clinic on March 3, right after the street
dancing. I will be one of the judges for the Bukidnon cuisine contest,
very expectant to a soulful presentation of Bukidnon tastes, next
week.

My troupe is ready for February 29’s ethnic music of my friend Waway
Saway’s band to be performed at Capitol ground and moreover a
gathering with friends to brainstorm the 1,000 soil-paintings exhibit
for next year’s Kaamulan.

Pandayaan ki alan hu Magbabaya ta-ini ha Kaamulan! God blesses us all
in this Kaamulan!

(BUKIDNON VIEWS is the opinion section of Bukidnon News. Loreta Sol
Dinlayan is a social science instructor at Bukidnon State University,
where she also works as in-charge of the university’s museum.)

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