Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Progressive Filipino Youth Group Holds 3rdKAMAYAN at Sinugba

Progressive Filipino Youth Group Holds 3rdKAMAYAN at Sinugba

Jersey City, NJ –First, wash your hands for hygienic purposes. Use your dominant hand to handle your food and keep the other hand clean to get the bowl of rice or answer your phone. Using the tips of your five fingers in your dominant hand, gather the rice and the viand (i.e. salted dried fish) in one mound and pick it all up. Put your hand close to your mouth and with the use of your thumb, push the food inside your mouth. This is the traditional Filipino way of eating with bare hands and this is the manner in which Filipino-American and immigrant Filipino youth ate their sumptuous lunch during the KAMAYAN last May 16, 2009 at Sinugba Restaurant in Jersey city.

KAMAYAN means “to eat with your bare hands”. KAMAYAN was organized by Anakbayan New York/ New Jersey to promote Filipino culture by eating in a traditionally Filipino way, which is to eat with your bare hands and by introducing the Filipino and Filipino-American youth to local Filipino restaurants in Jersey city. Kamayan also means “to shake hands,” which is why Kamayan is also the perfect venue to meet and get to know new friends.

“The purpose of Kamayan is to bring the Filipino and Filipino-American youth together to promote a sense of Filipino community and unity. Growing up in the Philippines, eating with my bare hands always meant that I was enjoying my food thoroughly. And so our organization thought that it would be great to teach US-raised Filipino youth the pleasure there is to be found in eating with bare hands while laughing with friends in a casual Saturday afternoon,” said Jules Diez, member of Anakbayan NY/NJ.

Anakbayan encourages the Filipino youth to get involved in collective actions with regards to issues affecting our community here in the US and, most especially back home. In a time of financial crisis wherein many businesses are closing, including Filipino businesses, KAMAYAN is also a small way of helping and giving back to the community. In KAMAYAN’s case, this act of collective eating also helps out by promoting and supporting local Filipino restaurants to the Filipino youth.

Organizations and youth groups came and supported the event. Organizations such as Philippine Forum and Lakas Diwa and youth groups such as Kapatirang Filipino, Kappa Pi fraternity and Unified came along with others.“Anakbayan believes that through events like this, we, together with other Filipino youth can create a culturally aware, strong and unified Filipino community that is ready to face issues affecting them, may it be the lack of community or the global financial crisis” said Kathleen Dy, a member of Anakbayan New York/New Jersey.

Anakbayan New York/New Jersey is a member of the progressive alliance BAYAN-USA and is also one of the US chapters of Anakbayan Philippines, a progressive Filipino youth organization fighting for the rights, welfare and basic needs of the Filipino youth around theworld. Other US chapters include Honolulu, Los Angeles, San Diego, Seattle, and East Bay.

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