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Monday, 19 February


Chief Executive Officer "IndyWatch Feed 1stpeople.pacific"

Balranald Local Aboriginal land Council


Free Hawai`i "IndyWatch Feed 1stpeople.pacific"


"Ocean Defender - A Visit With Leilei Shih"

Once you meet her, youll see she was born an activist. Both a marine geochemist and the O`ahu Sierra Clubs Conservation Chair, Leilei Shih is definitely a defender of the worlds oceans. But not only oceans as she also created a community farm which grows land to table fresh food for people. Join us in our amazing visit with Leilei at beautiful Kane`ohe Bay and youll see why shes so passionate about all things living -
Watch It Here


Sunday, 18 February


Fina'kuentos Chamorro #6: Si Yu'os, Yu'os... "IndyWatch Feed 1stpeople.pacific"

I have not written one of these posts in a while, although the collecting of Chamorro sayings continues. Fina'kuentos Chamorro is where I post different Chamorro sayings or phrases, they are important in providing us a sense of the Chamorro worldview, both in history and in a contemporary context, and give us a sense of the Chamorro particular flavor to life. Sometimes this flavor can be very familiar to other cultures, sometimes it can be very Catholic, sometimes is can appear to be very tied to the land and people here themselves.

This saying "Si Yu'os, Yu'os. I taotao, taotao ha'" can be both very simple, yet also encompass very deep thoughts. It translates simply to "God is God, man is man."

On the surface it is simply that men should not worry about things that are beyond their control, as those things lie in God's hands and he will determine what happens. It is a simplified serenity prayer.

I find this saying useful in terms of its critical potential in referring to those things that are supposed to be beyond our ability to affect or influence. To this end I have used this saying in my Pacific Daily News columns and even academic articles when trying to discuss Chamorro layers of epistemology.

For example, if you swap out "Yu'os" and "taotao" and replace them with nouns more familiar to political status discussions, you receive the division that animates much of Guam's decolonial deadlock, "Iya Amerika, Amerika, Guhan, Guhan ha'." The US is that which brings life, order, prosperity and possibility, Guam is just Guam, and that's it.


The Death of the Chamorro Language "IndyWatch Feed 1stpeople.pacific"

Ti siguro yu' hyi tumuge' este, lao interesnte. Guaha meggai na hestoria put i Chamorro gi Islas Sangkattan gi este na ti gof anakko' na tinige'. Hu sodda' este na tinige' ginen i gasetan Saipan, annai manespipiha yu' infotmasion put Fino' Chamorro gi halom i kottre gi Islas Sangkattan. Ti meggai na infotmasion humuyong, lao hu fakcha'i este. Ti hu tungo' i kilisyanu na fulnu ni' tumuge', lao ya-hu i milalk-a i hinasso-a siha. Frihon yan botlon.


The Death of Chamorro Language
March 31, 1999
The Saipan Tribune

For many years, we were active participants in the death of our local vernacular. It started with the golden days in grammar school when speaking your language lands you some corporal punishment, a fine of five cents, scribbling several pages of I will not speak Chamorro; picking up trash outside the classroom after school, among others.

Well into high school, theres the student monitors or JPOs who were authorized to arrest students for speaking their native tongue. At Hopwood, we even had a student court where defendants are brought in to justify why they spoke Chamorro. More often than not, its a textbook case and we giggle when the sentence is issued.

But I noticed too that dependents of TTG stateside employees were never arrested for speaking the local language. Of course, English is their first language spoken both at school and at home. But the use of our local and new lingo is divided: we brave use of conversational English at school, scrap the whole bag as we leave campus in the afternoon, return the next day pretending were all real Amerrrrican kids bluffing other students with our Dick, Jane, Sally and Spot vocabulary.

There were graceful moments too as we struggled to learn the English Language. Our sixth grade teacher, Mr. Frank M. Sablan, once asked the class to name the fruit right next to our classroom window known in Chamorro as laguana. There was a moment of silence when a tiny hand in the corner was raised. Declared my classmate: Legueners! Man, did the class broke out in laughter. Our wonderful teacher finally volunteered that its called sour sop.

I remember another classmate who cont...

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