November 14, 2023
Students and faculty members of the Ifugao State University (IFSU) gathered at the Heritage Convention Center on the IFSU-Lamut Campus on October 6, 2023, for a captivating lecture series on folkloric navigation presented by professors from Estonia and the Cordillera Region.
The lecture series, titled "Folkloric Navigation: Bridging Heritage from Estonia to Cordillera," explored two key topics: “Estonian Lore and Legacy: Tracing Folklore Collections Through Historical and Contemporary Documentation Methods,” discussed by Dr. Merili Metsvahi, Professor of Folklore Studies at the University of Tartu in Estonia; and “Ifugao Ethnographic Nuances: Conducting Indigenous Studies of Intangible Culture,” presented by Dr. Regina B. Mendoza, Professor of Social Sciences at IFSU-Potia Campus.
In her Opening Remarks, Dr. Marissa P. Bulong, Vice President for Research and Development, Extension, and Training (VPRDET), encouraged the participants to approach the seminar with an open mind and a genuine desire to learn. She expressed her hope that attendees would leave with a profound appreciation for folklore and a deeper understanding of the significance of safeguarding our rich folklore.
Dr. Metsvahi offered a glimpse into Estonia's storied history, illustrating the young nation's resilience in the face of adversities, particularly under German and Soviet occupation. She elucidated how the Estonian people's appreciation of freedom found expression through folklore, such as the renowned Tallin Song Festival.
Meanwhile, Dr. Mendoza provided valuable insights into the methodologies employed in conducting ethnographic research, emphasizing the collaborative nature of this endeavor. She underscored that researchers should not merely study indigenous peoples, but rather work alongside them in the process, recognizing that ethnographic research is an inclusive venture.
"The best way to understand folklore is to truly appreciate and comprehend its essence," said Dr. Florence A. Bahni, Department of Research Development Director, in her Closing Remarks.
The event marked a significant opportunity for cultural exchange and academic enrichment for students and faculty.//Faith B. Napudo
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