Thursday, April 15, 2004

PCN as a tool for decolonization

I was a guest lecture at St. Mary's College yesterday. I discussed Pilipino Cultural Night (PCN) as a tool for the decolonization of Filipino-Americans. My lecture was kept on track by Powerpoint which is an excellent presentation tool. I wonder how good the Apple version of presentation software is.

One of the points I tried to make to the students was that PCN offers a first step towards decolonization by allowing students to practice culture in a legitimate location. It is acceptable to learn and perform tinikling because of a cultural night at Zellerbach Hall. To practice dancing between two bamboo poles without an upcoming performance would be less acceptable.

The students were composed of about 90% minorities which was a great thing because I felt more comfortable, and I thought that the lecture was more useful for them. I would have to wonder what a Caucasian person would use a lecture on decolonization for. Ideally, to understand his/her place in the whole colonizer world. But I doubt that this occurs.

I mentioned to my friend that I have this project of documenting PCN. One of the people/sudents I would like to meet and to interview is the Filipino who does not think he needs to decolonize. That person would be interesting to know because it would be a reflection of who I was at a much younger age. When I was in college, I felt that I knew what was important about culture and the history of the Philippines. I thought that compared to the history of Europe, the history of the PHilippines was worthless. Little did I know just how short my education and my lack of critical thinking had stranded me.

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