Most Filipinos are xenophobic
Lian Tiamzon and Farah Grace Angalot - nursing assistants in the UMG
"Maybe we can celebrate Christmas virtually"
At the beginning of October ten nursing staff came to Göttingen from the Philippines to strengthen the UMG's nursing and care function. By the summer of 2021, they will complete a so-called "adaptation course to become a nurse", through which their international degree (Bachelor of Science nursing or nursing) will also be recognized in Germany. Until then, they will be employed as nursing assistants in the UMG. We were allowed to interview two of them ...
Please introduce yourself briefly and why did you come to Germany?
Lian Tiamzon: “My name is Lian Tiamzo, I am 32 years old and I come from Muntinlupa in the Philippines. At the end of September I arrived in Germany with other Filipinos. I wanted to get to know the European culture, which I have been interested in since I was a child. "
Farah Grace Angalot: “My name is Farah Grace Angalot, I am 30 years old and I also come from the Philippines. I've been in Göttingen for two months now. I came to Germany because there are many opportunities here to advance my career. In addition, the working conditions are very good. "
In which area of the UMG are you currently working?
Lian Tiamzon: “I am currently doing an adaptation course. That means that I have to complete the theoretical training at the university medicine and also in practice on ward 6023 in the clinic for dermatology, Venereology and allergology.“
Farah Grace Angalot: "At the moment I am working on Ward 4023 in the Clinic for Gastroenterology, Gastrointestinal Oncology and Endocrinology."
What do you like most about Göttingen or the UMG?
Lian Tiamzon: „In Göttingen it is obvious that Christmas is celebrated in every household. As early as November I saw small decorations hanging on the windows of my neighbors or at my workplace, the UMG. It is a heartwarming feeling for me and helps against homesickness. Just the sight of the city center decorated with Christmas lights makes our hearts beat faster. For us it is the thought that we have not really left home, but have found a new home here in Göttingen and in the UMG. "
Farah Grace Angalot: „Working outside of the family and the country is difficult, especially during this pandemic. But the UMG gave us a warm welcome. They never made us feel like we were alone when we wanted to work here in Germany. They supported us every step of the way towards realizing our dream of becoming a registered nurse here. Many thanks to the UMG for the support and advice.
I also think that Göttingen is a great city. The surroundings are very green and the air is fresh. The UMG is the best place where I can improve my knowledge and my skills. "
How can we imagine Christmas in your home country?
Lian Tiamzon: “The Filipinos have the longest Christmas party in the world. As early as September, people are preparing for the presents at home, planning large family celebrations, and putting up Christmas decorations. The first Christmas carols can be heard in parks and shopping centers. In fact, after Christmas, people would start counting the days until next Christmas! It's like celebrating Christmas all year round! If there is one unique Filipino Christmas tradition that I would like to introduce here, it is the belief that Christmas knows no time or season. The Christmas spirit lives all year round. "
Farah Grace Angalot: “Christmas in the Philippines is one of the biggest holidays in the country. Our country celebrates the longest Christmas season in the world with Christmas carols that can be heard as early as September. We have this so called Simbang Gabi (Night Mass) which is from December 16th to December 24th. It is believed that if you take part in Simbang Gabis, then your wishes will come true.
After Mass, Catholic families buy traditional Filipino holiday food. For breakfast there is e.g. Bibingka (rice flour and egg-based cake) or cooked putobumbong (a purple, sticky travel delicacy that is steamed in bamboo tubes, sprinkled with butter and then sprinkled with brown sugar and shredded dried coconut meat). "
How are you going to celebrate Christmas this year?
Lian Tiamzon: “Christmas will be very different for me this year. Being away from home is definitely a challenge as I was used to partying with my family and friends. Now that I'm here in Germany, I've decided to bring the Christmas spirit with me. My new friends have decided to take a peg. Due to Corona, we are still hesitant to plan exactly. But one thing is certain: the Christmas spirit will stay in our hearts. "
Farah Grace Angalot: “Since there is a pandemic, it is not possible to celebrate in a large group. Maybe we can celebrate Christmas virtually, for example through zoom. I will cook Filipino food and I will also have a glass of wine or beer. Then I call my family and friends over the Internet. "
Thank you very much - not only to all Filipino nurses - but to everyone who cannot celebrate Christmas in their actual homeland and who will hopefully find a new, second home in Göttingen in the future. We very much hope that despite the distance to your family, you will have a wonderful Christmas in Göttingen.
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