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The Igorot Austria, the only Filipino indigenous group in Austria presented a wide array of traditional, colorful and meaningful Igorot rituals, dances and ceremonies during the Begnas Festival in Vienna held on March 18, 2017 in Vienna.
In her opening Remarks, Igorot Austria President Ms. Hilaria Garcia briefly explained that Begnas, an Igorot word, refers to thanksgiving or offering rituals.
Ms. Marjorie Soaygan elaborated that the celebration of Begnas is the Igorot’s way to celebrate and give thanks for all the blessing they received the past year. This festival has the purpose of promoting the identity, heritage and customs and traditions of the indigenous people of the Mountain Province.
Soaygan further said that the celebration of begnas or thanksgiving should not only be confined to significant accomplishments and gains but it should be always done to express our gratitude to the Almighty Father for the small and big benefits that people have achieved in their success in life.
Third Secretary and Vice Consul Juan Carlos Borromeo was the guest speaker during the celebration. The Vice Consul challenged the Igorots in Austria to be steadfast to preserve and protect the rich history, culture and traditions of the region.
The cultural event inspires everyone to value their rich history, culture and traditions because it establishes the distinct identity of the people in their particular regions.
It is also inspiring to witness the presence and participation of the younger generations in the celebration of the Begnas.
The Igorot Austria Younger Generation presented the different modern costumes of the Mt. Province.
Both Austrians and Filipinos in the audience were delighted with their unique presentation, having shown their rich Igorot culture. Dressed in beautiful hand woven vests, G-strings and colorful skirts, the fun loving Cordillerans of Austria, together with their children danced to the melodic sounds of the gongs, gansa and solibao.
- Hector Pascua, ABS-CBN News, Austria