Puengen Minagof Nochebuena
by Michael Lujan Bevacqua
December 3, 2014
The Marianas Variety
THE Chamorro Studies Program at the University of Guam organizes
numerous events and programs each year.
We host or co-host forums, such as the female candidate forums and
sexual harassment forums held earlier this year. We offer Chamorro
language classes and over the past year Chamorro dance and weaving
courses. We hold regular colloquia where people speak on issues
important in a contemporary or historical sense to the Chamorro people,
including last year’s “The Chamorro Experience gi Fino’ Chamorro” a
lecture series in the Chamorro language. But amidst all these activities
there are two primary events that the program organizes each year, I
Inachaigen Fino’ CHamoru or the Chamorro Language Competition, each
March on Charter Day and Puengen Minagof Noche Buena, a Chamorro
Christmas celebration each December.
This year’s Puengen Minagof
Noche Buena will be taking place this Friday, Dec. 5 starting at 5:30
p.m. in the Humanities and Social Sciences building atrium at UOG. It is
a collaborative effort of the instructors and students for all the
Chamorro languages classes at UOG in the Fanuchan’an (fall) semester.
the evening features a bilen-making competition, however this year is
different. A bilen is a Nativity scene, usually featuring a baby Jesus,
Mary, Joseph, some shepherds and the Three Kings (Wise Men). Nowadays
many people buy a set or use a set bought in previous years, but in the
past a family would collect moss and wood from the jungle and build the
scene themselves. In the past, classes would use found objects and
natural or recyclable materials to build their bilens and they would be
pitted against each other to see whose was the best. The competitive
aspect will still be present this year, but instead students will be
constructing latte stones. They will still have to use natural and
recyclable materials. Judges will be scoring the latte stones in the
following categories: Most Beautiful, Most Relevant to the Theme and
Most Creative. There is an additional category where those attending
Puengen Minagof will be able to vote for their favorite in the People’s
A must for each Puengen Minagof is the enjoying of
Chamorro Christmas songs. Students will be singing a wide variety of
songs both traditional and more contemporary. Come and join UOG students
and sing along to old favorites such as “Dandan i Pandaretas” or
“Kantåyi gui’” or “Ta Falågue Sahyao.” You can also hear contemporary
Christmas songs such as “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” or “Jingle
Bells” and “Silver Bells” translated into Chamorro. Here’s an excerpt of
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer or “Rudof” translated into Chamorro:
agaga' i gui'eng-mu/ lålamlam kada puengi,/ ya kada ma attan i
gui'eng-mu,/ sigi hao di ma kasse,/ todu i mangga'chong-mu,/ sigi hao di
ma kasse,/ sa' hågu ha' nai na binådu,/ sasahnge yan na'ma'se'.
am proud to present that for this year’s Puengen Minagof, we will also
be featuring Chamorro weaving demonstrations. This semester the Chamorro
Studies program has been working with the group Pa’a Taotao Tano’ to
offer a class in Chamorro weaving. For the past few months, students in
the course have been learning how to weave items such as the gueha
(fan), katupat (rice pouch), guafak (woven mat), piña (pineapple),
puti’on (stars), ala (basket) and tuhong sakman (canoe hat). The
instructor is Art Pangelinan from Pa’a Taotao Tano’, who has been
teaching the students to weave with both hågon niyok (coconut fibers)
and akgak (pandanus fibers). The students will be presenting the items
they have learned to weave this semester and also be offering some
demonstrations for those interested in trying their hand at a kaputat, a
puti’on or a apacha’ (grasshopper).
There will be other
displays and demonstrations, including the screening of Chamorro
language film projects by students and the introducing of a new virtual
dictionary website. Professors Gerhardt Schwab and Rosa Palomo of UOG
have been working on developing a virtual database and learning resource
for the Chamorro language. Students in CM301, or Advanced Chamorro,
have been working this semester to add words, dialogues, grammatical
lessons to the website which will hopefully be launched sometime next
year. Rosa Palomo has been teaching Chamorro at UOG for many years.
Gerhardt Schwab is actually a social work professor at UOG, but recently
declared himself a Chamorro Studies major and has since returned to
school to learn the Chamorro language.
Finally, what is perhaps
the most exciting aspect of Puengen Minagof for people is the food. This
year’s table will feature a variety of exciting types of buñelos, or
donuts. According to the students coordinating the table, there will be
buñelos dågu, buñelos aga’, buñelos månglo, buñelos kalamasa, buñelos
kamuti, buñelos manha and perhaps several other surprises.
want to thank Dean James Sellmann of the College of Liberal Arts and
Social Sciences for hosting the event. I also want to congratulate the
fafa’na’guen Chamorro at UOG for all their hard work in making this
event happen: Sinora Palomo, Sinora Flores, Sinora Mendiola, Sinot
Franquez and Sinot Benavente. They are all part-time faculty who are
dedicated to the promotion and protection of the Chamorro language and
each year organize wonderful events like this to that end.
Biba Puengen Minagof! Biba Chamorro! Biba UOG!
Guam - The Guam Department of Education is excited to announce that "Maisa The Chamoru Girl Who Saves Guåhan", an animated film in the Chamorro language will have its premiere to the general public on Dec 12, 2015 at the UOG Lecture Hall.
The film is produced by the GDOE Chamorro Studies and Special Projects Division.
You can view the trailer at the following link:https://vimeo.com/146631622.