October 4th kick-started the first of AFIRE's 10 session Tagalog 101 classes for adults. The class is being taught by Instructors Sally Richmond and Norie Argayoso. The classes are meant to connect community with a basic understanding of Tagalog, and Filipino culture, while guiding students on subjects pertaining to social problems impacting Filipino and Filipino Americans. Classes end in December.
The class seats 17 students, many 2nd and 3rd generation Filipino/a/x American youth. The class is part of AFIRE's effort to reconnect Filipino/a/x community with Tagalog language, one of the many languages of the Philippines. Language's strong connection to culture plays an important role in shaping identity. Learning Tagalog as a form of resistance to Philippines' strong colonial past and present day feelings of living in Diaspora is an empowering affirmation for many Filipino/a/x youth and community learners of Filipino languages.
Celebrating Filipino American History month through reclaiming language and identity bears the powerful reminder that we are our own agents of change and resistance.