I would like to share a “guest post” with everyone from Yvette Pan, a fellow long-term intern at APMM. Yvette is from Taiwan and received her Masters in Peace and Conflict studies. She spent 9 months at APMM, and then renewed her contract in October to spend one more year here. She wrote this piece for our February issue of the Newsdigest, our publication about the lives of migrants in and around HK. (It is slightly out of date since it is about One Billion Rising, but I found the message powerful enough to share)
“Let’s Dance in Chater Road”
I was curious what one billion rising (OBR) is. The first thing that came into my mind when I heard about it was: “Well, one billion fundraising, what a brave project it is.” When I googled it and joined the dance practice, I realized that the OBR was definitely not about fundraising, it was about girl power…
Over 90% of migrant workers in Hong Kong are women so that the OBR is quite meaningful for us. This time all of dancers wore green shirts and followed the Tagalog OBR version music and danced to the steps created by GABRIELA, a Filipino women organization.
It was a totally new and very cool experience for me, V-day in 2013, I really enjoyed the happy moment and danced with my Filipina sisters from morning till the afternoon. So many pedestrians, most of them tourists, stopped next by the big dance group on Chater road to take pictures and ask questions to dancers.
I cannot help but wonder, what is the meaning of the OBR dance? The culture where I come from does not really encourage people to enjoy dance. For me, I shy away from dancing in public because I do not believe I am suitable to do it. I have never dreamed that I could dance together with 600 other women in Chater Road. I developed more confident from each practice, dance, and hug from my sisters because my sisters often encouraged me to do it, be relaxed and enjoy music.
One Billion Rising made a lot of things happen in my life. I should say it is magic, believe or not. I felt more confident and sexy after the One Billion Rising. I learned how the ‘girl power’ influenced the whole Chater Road. I felt so moved by that moment and ‘go dancing’ is not a terrible thing anymore.
I made it, I am proud of being a woman. After this meaningful dance party in Chater Road, I should shout out loudly to the world: Hi girls, you are beautiful, tough and sexy.
What can we do after our dance party on February this year? As what the OBR website states: ‘This is NOT an annual holiday, we are not waiting until 14 February 2014. NOW is the time to harness the power of your activism to change the world!’”
For more stories from the Newsdigest, please visit http://www.apmigrants.org or email me and I will send it directly to you and “put you on the list.”