“Pabaon” (send-off) is a Filipino trait. In the Philippines, it is a send-off practice where the one who is going away is given a lot of things as gifts from the person (s) he/she is visiting.
The longer I have stayed here, the longer I have realized that it is a Czech trait too.
Last weekend, we visited my in-laws in Moravia and came home with a lot of “pabaon” from them. It is already Friday and we “just managed” to eat all the food that my mom-in-law prepared for us. Since it would be our last visit before the baby arrives, she prepared special dishes for us. One of those was roasted duck which we were digging into until yesterday. Aside from the cooked food, we also got to take home fruits, baked goods, eggs and even kitchen towels and a washing scrub. And if that’s not enough, they also gave us some insect spray (for mosquitoes and ticks) because they know we live close to the woods.
This type of practice always happens whenever we come to visit my in-laws. We never come home empty-handed. There is always something that we get to take home.
It reminds me of my very own culture. We do the same. Going home is like going to the market. You come back with lots of stuff. Now there are even some items that we can buy for ourselves like kitchen towels or insect sprays, but it is really the thoughtfulness that means so much more. These things are not only things but they convey a deeper message: “You are loved.”
I think that this is one of the traits that have brought our families together. Although we come from opposite sides of the globe, the things that we value are pretty much the same. Knowing this gives me comfort. It makes me feel at home.