They may be thousands of kilometers away from the Philippines but Filipinos in Russia are keeping Philippine "Undas" traditions alive by paying their respects to their dearly departed.
Undas / All Saints Day (November 1) and All Souls Day (November 2) are holidays in the Philippines but not in Russia, a report on the website of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) noted.
Still, Filipinos like Melody Buhian Solovko, married to a Russian, stick to family traditions to mark Undas, the CBCP said.
According to Buhian Solovko, "Russians are not too big on remembering the dead or honoring the saints, so an average of 10-15 people turn up for the short prayer in the local cemetery," the CBCP said. Buhian Solovko shares biko (sticky rice cake) and hot chocolate with the other Filipinos in their parish. Another Filipina Geraldine Jacob, a domestic helper in Moscow, resorts to prayer – and the rosary – to remember her departed loved ones.
Jacob, who has been in Moscow for 14 months, said her boss does not allow her to go to the city proper to attend Mass or meet with fellow Filipinos.