The Workshop of Womanhood

Rong Lu

Rong Lu

On 14th March 2011, GIT held a workshop about “womanhood”. Actually, when I first heard about it, I didn’t want to join this workshop because I was anxious about my IELTS exam (which I took on 13th March, just the day before ) and I thought that, maybe, the workshop was something about women’s rights or policy broadcasts (boring….). Anyway, I had totally forgotten about it until Sangyed reminded me, while I was on the train coming back to Eindhoven after my exam. It was so sweet of her to ask me to join and I was totally released at that moment. So I thought: “why not go and enjoy myself?!”

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Rong is explaining her drawing.

I was a little late that day. When I jumped in, the workshop had reached the stage where the sound “ah” was being voiced continuously. Like Ying said, it was a kind of “soul yoga”. By following the guidance of Claudia, we started to focus on ourselves: closing our eyes, hearing our own voices, sitting and feeling the ground deeply and freely. I felt totally relaxed, being able to truly perceive my body and soul; there was nothing but myself. It is true that these years I was stuck on different things, except where work was concerned.  There were always things to distract me: a long distance relationship, family things and then a wedding to plan…. After I moved to Eindhoven last October, new problems came out. When I had a job, I wondered how I could stop these endless things forever. However, when I finally got to quit my job and had a chance to enjoy myself for a couple of months, I started to miss the days with work! As my college teacher said, never and ever avoid the problems just like you cannot avoid life. But it really feels good to leave those things behind and have a rest, even for just one minute.

Preparations

Preparations

Then, it was the “dancing” part. We were asked to forget ourselves, who we are and how we look like, to just free our body by following the music. I personally loved this part. As Claudia said, women are delicate in life, just like holding the baby in one’s arms, but we are emotional too. We are bothered by life’s trivia and work, during which we will experience joy, anxiety, frustration and anger. We need to vent and shake off bad moods. In this part, I experienced all of the above emotions through different songs; moved my legs, arms and the whole body in an exaggerated manner, which may seem mad or crazy without the music. Never mind! It was worthwhile, especially when the last piece of music began. I suddenly calmed down and realized that everything (bad or good) would go over, no matter how tough the process was. It was like some kind of magic happened to me.

The last part was “drawing”. Firstly, we closed our eyes and thought about our own womanhood. Then, we opened our eyes and drew whatever comes to us. It was a good way to explore myself when I closed my eyes. Finally I drew the picture below:

Rong's Drawing

Rong’s Drawing

It looked funny when it was done, but it is special to me, to the condition I am in right now. It means “powerful and changeable”. This is what womanhood means to me, and I am really not good at drawing! At the very beginning when I started to draw, I wanted to draw a bright and shining flower to mean my dreams; it needed strong support from my heart and my family. So I used the brown color to show the roots of my dream. While chasing a dream, there will be a lot of frustrations as well as courage shown. So I used blue and red to stand for them respectively. But it fails with a lot of blue in the middle of the flower. I did not give up! Then, I drew another branch that stretched beside the flower and drew several small flowers, beautiful red ones, which meant: if it cannot work in one way, change to another way.

In the end, one by one, we shared our drawings and our thoughts on womanhood. We also shared our feelings about this workshop. All the girls had done meaningful drawings that were colorful and impressive. It was interesting to listen to everyone’s stories and feelings. I was so touched by Ria’s explanation of her ideals- she drew her handprint. This meant she wanted to do something to support her husband though these hard days, like the hand holding something up.

I always enjoy the sharing part of every GIT activity. Sharing always bring me new perspectives and views and make us know each other better. Of course, this workshop was an excellent experience for me!

Rong Lu