Pinay in theater play in Switzerland

by Hector Pascua, ABS-CBN Europe News Bureau

Posted at Apr 25 2012 04:19 PM | Updated as of Apr 26 2012 12:19 AM

KREUZLINGEN, Switzerland - The group “Culture in the Shop” and the Free Theatre Turgau, staged a theatre play about the life and the origin of the Kreuzlingern or migrants and refugees.

The theme of migration was tackled by actors and actresses while cooking on stage.

Six professional and amateur actors and actresses played the roles of migrants and refugees. Each one related how they were able to reach Switzerland.

One of the main actresses in the theater presentation is Filipina Teresita Papa.

Like her, large numbers of Europeans--mainly Spanish, Portuguese, Greek, Irish and Italians--chose to move abroad due to economic pressures back home.

Some have travelled to Switzerland, joining family members, friends or entrusting their fate in the hands of one of many job agencies.

The theater play likewise pictured how migrants find it hard--although not the same way--to adapt to the language, the social structure and the way of life of their host country.

Play Director Jean Grädel and author Peter Höner incorporated in the play the different factors that make it difficult for migrants to integrate easily:

  • the foreigners' social and cultural background;
  • their education and their adaptability to a foreign environment;
  • their plans for the future,
  • the political and legal situation in the host country;
  • the local population's acceptance and tolerance and respect for a foreign culture.

The fact that 75% of all foreigners in Switzerland possess a residence permit can be considered positive. However, it does not necessarily mean that they are familiar with the local language and way of life.
“I observed that a big barrier for Filipinos like me living in Switzerland is the language itself. Switzerland is a small country with a total population of only 6 million people. Yet, the country boast’s four official languages: French, Italian, Romanesque and German, which is the dialect spoken by a majority of its inhabitants,” Papa said.

Papa maintained that learning the language is the key to faster integration.