Friday, August 26, 2016

Saving a People

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Saving a People and Their Culture Through the Perpetuation of a Language …

Nasion Chamoru

The CHamoru culture is being revived and with great enthusiasm! 

I find it fascinating to see that the CHamoru language to many CHamorus abroad especially in the lower 48 states in the U.S. find their native language of Guåhan and the Marianas as a “secondary language.”  But with much praise to all those past and present who continue in teaching the language to those “willing to learn” their native language using all forms of medium available to spread the knowledge.

As I drive on the freeway or in city streets, I notice more and more car stickers with words or symbols only associated with the CHamorus of the Marianas.

Makes feel good to see that many of the vehicle owners are between Gen X (Generation X) or a Millennial.

Some of the common symbols used are the fish hooked used more commonly now as pendants on necklaces, or the silhouette of the Island of Guåhan. 
Others sport symbols such as the Latté and Tåsa or a silhouette of a masculine male with his hair at a half-notch.  The most popular symbol is that found in the center of the national flag of Guåhan with the
sakman out in the water just off shore.
The words used in some cases are; Håfa Adai; Håfa?; Fokai; Chamorro; or CHamoru.

Regardless of what symbol or words I find on these
vehicles, the answer as to what People claims the vehicle is clear, “They are CHamoru.”  It doesn’t bother me if they were born abroad, rather it makes one quite happy to know that the descendants whom have left the island for whatever reason have found some form of identity and are proud of it.  And for that we should all be proud.

Recently, I have seen more spirited efforts both on island and off by CHamorus in undertaking much effort in teaching both the native language and more recently the written form of the language.

Although the efforts must be commended, many traditional CHamorus whom grew up speaking the language feel that the written language would only divide the people into sects.  As many I have spoken to in the region have mentioned, “Tåya adai na mafa’någué ham taimanu ma’tuge’-påpa' i lenguåhita’.”  Others believe that this should actually help perpetuate the culture and its People by doing so in teaching a written version of the language.

Not personally taking sides on the issue, I must admit that descendants of the Ancient CHamoru and Native to the Marianas region should be proud that an effort is being undertaken and with such vigor and enthusiasm.

Speak it! Teach it! Practice it daily!  Even if by only comprising a simple sentence that you can use to teach your descendants, your forefathers and mothers will be proud to see that you’ve taken that time in passing a legacy that has existed for thousands of years and that their legacy will continue to live even in a highly technological environment!
Si Yu’os Ma’åsi Afanelos…

No comments:

Post a Comment