Marianas Variety

Last updateWed, 27 Sep 2017 12am

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    Tuesday, September 26, 2017-11:19:49A.M.

     

     

     

     

     

OPINION: Dear Chamorro(u)s & Carolinians

I READ about the new Chamorro and Carolinian Language Policy Council and it reminded me of a letter I wrote many years ago so I would humbly and respectfully beg to offer my “two-cents” on this issue in hopes that someone will now listen as my children are “African/Cherokee-Chamolinians.”

When I was on the Board of Education I brought up the ideology to save the Local cultures by creating a complete “Cultural Curriculum” and of-course it was shot down coming from an outsider. But a Cultural Curriculum would contain EVERYTHING a Chamorro or Carolinian should know (sailing & Proa construction, customs, beliefs, games, arts & craft, stories, chants and etc.) as blood and language don’t mean too much if you don’t know what it truly MEANS to be Chamorro or Carolinian. As one can see the task of the new Policy Council is much bigger than one may think and they also need to rush because the people (manamko’) who know the most are slowing leaving us one at a time. Furthermore, language alone is insufficient to maintain the complete culture especially when there haven’t been any new Chamorro or Carolinian words EVER SINCE as a local person might say. There is clearly a need for these new words especially in the field of technology because without them you are speaking “BROKEN” Chamorro & Carolinian.

Another major challenge is to “get it right” and the best place to start is on Rota, not Saipan as historians have proved that the people of Rota are the most likely source of the most “authentic” Chamorro language and heritage because they were left very much alone, especially the women who had no role in the church, to continue practicing the culture during the Spanish, German and Japanese times. The third and final major challenge is to “unite with Guam” to create a consensus of what will be acceptable as there is controversy over the use of the language and other cultural phenomena. Guam is much closer to a complete Cultural Curriculum and it would be wise to work with Guam in the best interest of the Chamorru Nation — think and focus on the Big Picture and the details will be easy. The Chamorru of Guam also don’t mind “outsiders” (non-locals) being elected in Government and in positions to HELP the People of Guam — true equality.

As for the controversy over Carolinian being a “native” language the protesters against this in deed have a valid formal argument as these islands originating heritage is Chamorro and Carolinian is a “second culture and language.” But I don’t think we should be “stereotyping and splitting hairs” (making differentiations) now as both cultures and languages have become a local reality. In fact, our children don’t see the differences and see the people as ONE PEOPLE as it was youth at Kagman High who coined and identified the cultural collective in the Marianas as “Chamolinian” due to the many shared customs and practices. The Scriptures tell us “we can learn from the ant and even our children” and I think locals should try to learn the lesson your children were teaching because they created the title Chamolinian to curve and even stop so much enmity and conflict between the Chamorros and Carolinians who were brought together with the opening of Kagman (Chamorros from the South & Carolinians from the North) — and it worked!

I do hope this will help the new Chamorro and Carolinian Language Policy Council with the BIG PICTURE of what really needs to be done and that you won’t trash this just because I am not local. I just hope that you will respect and try to face the fact that if anyone knows how to save the culture it’s a teacher because saving the culture is ALL about EDUCATION and to have an effective Education Campaign you need a Curriculum to teach — it’s really that simple for saving the entire culture. I wish the new Policy Council the very best and if they need some of those old Chamorro & Carolinian Stories and Cultural Practices I have a “TREASURE TROVE” of old Local Books they were throwing away at Oleai Elementary. I just happen to be a dreamer for humanity to do better like my mentor Dr. King and if the powers-that-be are willing to let me help I will because I believe in “One People One Direction” for (Guam & the CNMI) to embrace diversity and unity through the Cultural Ties if not politically in order to save the entire Chamorro & Carolinian Cultures — just remember you can’t un-ring the bell nor can you un-mix the local cultures which is the true reality but you can re-unite as a nation to bring the Culture Up-to-Date!