Different things resonate with different people. That much is true after the first Roundtable session on cultural identity. But it’s the details that matter. And it was the personal experiences brought forth in conversation that illuminated a few surface glimmerings of what it means to be Filipino-Canadian.
For one, there was a profound sense of loss. Where after arriving in Canada at an early age, he gradually lost the Tagalog language with which he came; obliterated by an English-speaking consciousness growing up. For another, it was her small moment of recognition that there was more to ‘back home’ than overwhelming poverty. There was Culture, in the capital C sense, and Art.
Though a lot that was discussed was also left uncertain. Like the feeling of owing one’s parents, of being existentially indebted to their leap across seas in order to build a new life. The measure of success is then defined not without a looming awareness of one’s intergenerational past.
And so the conversation continues…