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Holidays
Rituals, festivals, holidays

Pibitin

My informant is a 19 year old student studying neuroscience at USC.

“Okay, this is a game that my family plays on Christmas, and it’s this Filipino game called “Pibitin.” Um, basically, it’s kind of like pinata, but you have this – it’s kind of like a grid made out of wood, um, and hanging off of the grid, you hang like little gifts and prizes and whatnot. And then, um, you hang it like a pinata, but you can lift and lower it. And so the idea is like, you go and you run and you have to jump and grab the gift. And then like the person that’s controlling it, can like, pull it up when you’re jumping so it makes it like harder to get it. Um but yeah, I don’t know, I guess we play that on, um, Christmas Eve with my family – like my grandparents and everything, which is funny, because like, we have to lower it a lot for them ‘cause they can’t really jump, like more than an inch off the ground. Um, but, yeah so I don’t know, it’s just not really like, gifts gifts, it’s kind of like … random, you know… uh, I don’t even know. My grandma will put random stuff that she buys at like the dollar section of Target, like pencils or like staplers.  I don’t – it’s always like school stuff. I don’t know why. Um, or a gift card, like a five dollar gift card to like Starbucks, or socks. Grandma is like really into putting socks in every gift.”  

Analysis:

My informant uses this tradition to stay connected to her family and her Filipino roots. It is a fun tradition that they perform every year. My informant does not know the exact reason why they do it or where it comes from, but for her it is an essential part of their Christmas tradition.

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