By Swetha Nair

A strong bonding and community spirit among people in a —bayan (meaning town) — is something you see among Filipinos.

Almost all countries in the world have this ethos present in some form or the other in their culture – Harambee in East Africa, Gotong- royong in Indonesia, Basij in Iran, Talkoot in Finland; in the Philippines, it is Bayanihan. 

(Image: Wikimedia)

Most certainly, you would have come across this word at least once on this beautiful and vast island nation.

The word Bayanihan means ‘joining hands to help people in the community they live and work in’. Bayanihan can be expressed in many ways.

The most common display of it is in the classic tradition of neighbors coming around to help a family – perhaps troubled by the vagaries of weather in their location — relocate to a different place by literally lifting and carrying the entire house to the new location. 

(Image: Wikimedia)

More than 20 men would place long bamboo poles under the house and position themselves at the end of the poles to lift them. After the relocation is over, the family which was helped would hold a small fiesta or party in honor of the volunteers who helped them.

The Philippines is a country steeped in tradition which embraces the ‘new’ without letting go of their rich culture.

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(Featured Pic: Wikimedia)