Filipino maids’ dragon boat team makes splash in Hong Kong

The Filipino Dynamos dragon boat team, which is made up of Hong Kong domestic helpers, during a training session at Stanley main beach. Photo: Nora Tam

via reuters – Filipino women are paddling for gold in this year’s dragon boat races in Hong Kong, with one thing separating them from the competition – they are all maids, often taken for granted in the rich Chinese-ruled city, who no longer want to feel left out.

To the beat of a drum, the 29 members of the Filipino Dynamos train or compete every Sunday – their only day off each week – in the paddling ritual that has roots dating back more than 2,000 years.

The tradition brings together people from all walks of life to compete each year in colorful, long, narrow boats across the Asian financial hub’s busy waterways.

“I want to integrate the Filipino helper community and represent the domestic helper as part of Hong Kong, part of the community, and we don’t want to feel excluded,” said Liza Avelino, who founded the team last year.

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