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
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
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
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.
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.
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