Wednesday, September 18, 2013

The Unspoken Chamorro Rules

Earlier this week the letter to the editor that I have pasted below appeared in the PDN. Titled "Some of the unspoken Chamorro rules" it was written by Adolf Sgambelluri and purported to give a clear picture of why Chamorros are so messed up. People familiar with liberal/conservative discourse in the United States might immediately recognize the framework that this was written in. It is a standard conservative screed that appears on chain letters and messages boards, just with some changes to make it more "local" and attack Chamorros, and in some ways combine the problems of Chamorros with the problems of liberalism. For Sgambelluri, a conservative to attack liberals makes sense. But as a Chamorro, his attacks are a bit more confusing. The core of this discursive attack is the attempt to make liberals/Chamorros the source of all the problems in a society, and to implicitly offer conservative Americanism as the solution. 

 This type of self-loathing should be familiar to most Chamorros. We see so many examples of it around us in the media, in our families, in our history. Every culture will have examples of this, but in a Chamorro context it is a colonial sort of loathing. It is a dynamic where the things that the colonizer has said about us, we take as the truths about ourselves. By accepting that truth, we don't only take that one drop of knowledge, but start to integrate ourselves into an entire web of power relations, most of which place us and what we represent at the bottom, and what the colonizer and what he represents at the top. The quote superimposed on the image above is one such example. It comes from a Naval Governor before World War II, and it is something that Chamorros, even up until today have come to accept as the truth of themselves. 

Included below is the response by Peter Onedera. If the Chamorro language survives for another 4,000 years it will be because of people like Peter Onedera, who faithfully use it and employ it and are always expanding its horizons.

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Some of the unspoken Chamorro rules

Sep. 12, 2013   |  
There may be no official rule book for being a Chamorro, but that doesn't mean there aren't rules. In fact the idea came from a columnist John Hawkins. There are actually quite a few rules Chamorro go by and the more politically active Chamorros become, the more rigidly they tend to stick to their own code of behavior.

These rules, most of which are unspoken, are passed along culturally and viciously enforced. Often times they have adhered to their way of spelling words for Chamorro.

Ironically, many Chamorro could not explain these rules to you and don't even consciously know they're following them. So, by reading this article, not only will you gain a better understanding of the Chamorro, you'll know them better than they know themselves in some ways.

• First, you justify your beliefs about yourself by your status as a Chamorro, not your deeds. By the way, Chamorro is not a race but a bastardized mixed of just about all ethnicity in the Marianas island chain. The most sexist Chamorro can think of himself as a feminist while the greediest Chamorro can think of himself as generous: "chenchule' this and chenchule' that!"

In the vernacular the word means gifts or donations, which is very much in vogue during special events. This is because Chamorro define themselves as being compassionate, open minded, kind, pro-science and intelligent -- not based on their actions or achievements, but based on their ideology. This is one of the most psychologically appealing aspects of liberalism because it allows you to be an awful person while still thinking of yourself as better than everyone else.

• What Chamorros like should be mandatory and what they don't like should be banned. There's an almost instinctual form of fascism that runs through most Chamorro. It's not enough for Chamorros to love gay marriage; everyone must be forced to love gay marriage. It's not enough for Chamorros to be afraid of guns; guns have to be banned. It's not enough for Chamorros to want to use energy-saving light bulbs; incandescent light bulbs must be banned.

• The past is always inferior to the present: Chamorros tend to view traditions, policies and morals of past generations as arbitrary designs put in place by less enlightened people. Because of this, Chamorros don't pay much attention to why traditions developed or wonder about possible ramifications of their social engineering. ... It's like an architect ripping out the foundation of a house without questioning the consequences and if the living room falls in on itself as a result, he concludes that means he needs to make even more changes.

• Chamorros believe in indiscriminateness for thought. This one was so good that we borrowed it from another columnist, Evan Sayet: "Indiscriminate of thought does not lead to indiscriminate of policy." It leads the modern Chamorros to invariably side with evil over good, wrong over right and the behaviors that lead to failure over those that lead to success. Why? Very simply -- if nothing is to be recognized as better or worse, then anything else then success is de facto unjust. There is no explanation for success if nothing is better than anything else and, we find, the greater the success the greater the injustice.

• Intentions are much more important than results. Chamorros decide what programs to support based on whether they make them feel good or bad about themselves, not because they work or don't work. After World War II, a DDT ban that killed some locals is judged a success by Chamorros because it makes them feel as if they care about the environment.

• The only real sins are helping conservatism or harming Guam Chamorro locals. Conservatives often marvel at the fact that Chamorros will happily elect every sort of pervert, deviant and criminal you can imagine without a second thought. That's because right and wrong don't come into the picture for Chamorros. They have one standard: Does this politician help or hurt my family? If a Chamorro politician helps the liberal Chamorros, he has a free pass to do almost anything, and many of them do just that.

• All solutions must be government-oriented. Chamorros may not be as down on the local government as conservatives are, but on some level, even they recognize that it doesn't work very well. So why are Chamorros so hell-bent on centralizing as much power as possible in local government? Simple, because they believe that they are better and smarter than everyone else by virtue of being Chamorros and centralized power gives them the opportunity to control more people's lives. There's nothing scarier to Chamorros than free people living their lives as they please without wanting or needing the local government to nanny them.

• You must be absolutely close-minded. One of the key reasons Chamorros spend so much time vilifying people they don't like and questioning their motivations is to protect themselves from having to consider their arguments. This helps create a completely closed system for Chamorros borrowed from the liberals mentality. Conservative arguments are considered wrong by default since they're conservative and not worth hearing.

• Feelings are more important to Chamorros than logic. Liberals base their positions on emotions, not facts and logic and then they work backwards to shore up their position. This is why it's a waste of time to try to convince a Chamorro of anything based on logic. You don't "logic" someone out of a position that he didn't use "logic" to come up with in the first place.

• Tribal/family affiliation is more important than individual action. There's one set of rules for members of the family and one set of rules for everyone else. Lying, breaking the rules or fomenting hatred against a liberal in good standing may be out of bounds, but there are no rules when dealing with outsiders, who are viewed either as potential recruits, dupes to be tricked, or foes to be defeated.
Adolf Peter Sgambelluri is a retired Marine, former Guam police chief and president of the Guam chapter of the National Association for Uniformed Services.

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Ti hu tungo' na guaha taisinangan na areklamenton CHamoru

Sep. 17, 2013
Peter R. Onedera
Buente tåktamudu yu', taitiningo' yu', osino gaige i hinasso-ku gi i sanhiyong i titanos, lao ha hongngang yu' i Damenggo na luchan PDN put i taisinangan areklamenton CHamoru ya på'go na ma lakngos este na asunto, malago' yu' na ta na'guaha lugåt para ta hungok hinasso yan siñente ginen taotågues ni' umå'agang siha CHamoru.

Hu hanaoyi kåsi ocho na difirentes inetnon gi maloffan simåna, desde entieru yan lisåyu siha asta finattan åtte, metkao puengi, hunta siha, pinekkat yan feria ya lameggai kuentos manmalakngos put i lucha entre i CHamoru yan ayu i ti man CHamoru. Bula manengkubukao, guaha ti manmalago' manguentos, guaha mumenta i tai-guaiyayon i titige', yan guaha manlebbok ya ilek-ñiha na påchot ha' ta'lo put i kestumbren CHamoru.


Un taotao na afa'maolekon, ilek-ña, "estague' ta'lo un taifinakpo' ihemplo put un CHamoru ni' ha dispresia ta'lo CHamoru-ña."


Para guåhu, si Dudan Tomås yu' sa' ti siña na bai hu pega na taiguini yu' lokkue' tåtkumu ginen i ma tuge' put i CHamoru yan i dies na punto ni' ha pega ya hu kuestiona håfa rason na para u fångge' put este na asunto. Kao atburotao gui' na u tuge' este na lucha put para u takka' i asunto? Kao mampos i CHamoru siha taiguini annok na kostumbre guatu gi taotao sanhiyong ni' manmåtto mågi ya ni' unu gi iya hita tumungo' na ta na'a'annok este na kostumbre sin i tiningo'-ta?

Ha pega yu' este na hinasso gi dinida na bånda ya hu prupoponi na u ma ina este gi håfakao na hunta ni' u guaha deskutasion para i minaolek todu. Hu halåra mohon na ayu i taotågues ni' fumofotma i mamaila' na såkkan para Komferensian Hestorian Mari'ånas u konsedera na u ma na'guaha hunta para u ma deskuti este. Tåtkumu, u fanma agångi lokkue' CHamoru siha ginen Guåhan yan iya Notte Mari'ånas parehu ta'lo yan håyi ginen taotao sanlagu na Mañamoru kosaki u fanma lakngos hinasso yan siñente yan kao chilong yan i tinige' i titige'. Put mås, hu rikumenda na u ma kombida gui' ya guiya u ge'hilu'i i hunta ya ta fanma iduka mås.

Osino lokkue', nihi ya ta na'huyong este na asunto guatu gi i pupbleko sa' put i esta duru i kinalamten pulitikåt para finahan-botu yan i kinubren konsiensian CHamoru ni' manmambobota.

Entre todu, este ni' put inayek kandidåtu siha ni' siempre alos uttemo rumisutto gi primet ileksion gi mamaila' na såkkan, ta usa este na areklamenton taisinangan CHamoru para ta estudia kada kandidåtu ya ta li'e' kao a'nnok gi iya siha na ma tattitiyi i dies na areklamento.
Gi balan sais na areklo gaige na i CHamoru ya-ña manilihi sin håfa na hinasso maskeseha håyi na taotao achokha' kriminåt yan tramposu. Guaha estao finaisen ni' "kao u ayuda osino u na'dåñu i familiå-ku?" Maskeseha tåktamudu yu' lao mambobota yu' tåtkumu ayu i hu bobota para u cho'gue håfa ma nisisita u ma cho'gue para i islå-ta gi iya Guåhan. Nånalao, ti guåhu ha' guini na a'apas kontrebusion yan adu'åna yan ti guåhu ha' lokkue' na bebeta ya parehu yan i pumalu na taotågues, ha afekta yu' yan i familiå-ku i utilidåt, krima, setbision medikåt, sinafon pupbleko yan idukasion, yan pumalu siha.

Ti embidiosu yu' ni' ayu siha i manma ilihi para ufisinan pupbleko sa' estague' asigurao para kinahulo' enemigu siha yanggen ti ma fabot todu i pupbleko. Hu tungo' na makkat mampos cho'cho' pulitikåt ninungka na hu chagi gi un biåhi lao hu tungo' na mantaotao siha lokkue' i los prohimu siha.

Put uttemo, debidi i CHamoru u hasso kao magåhet i punto dies gi areklamento put aksion familia siha kontra aksion endebedu'åt. Nihi ya ta chagi este na areklo ya pues ta disidi kao efektibu yanggen ma usa.

Fa'na'an ginen i hagas na eskuela yu' sa' i hinengge-ku ni' kumahulo' yu' desdeki ma fañagu-hu asta i finatai-hu, memetgot ha' yan ti hu mimidi desde på'go ni' hu hago' i inamko'-hu.

Fuera di hu la'lå'yi i kredon i dies dinimåndan Yu'os ni' hu giha yu' tåtkumu Katoliku, hu tattiyi respetu para kosas, tåno', taotao yan manåmko'; inagofli'e' yan ninana'i para ayu i numisisita; mama'ihehemplo para i manhoben ni' para u ma tattiyi; siudadanon minaolek yan para u fila yan apåsi kontrebusion-hu tengnga, hu siente na lumå'la' yu' tåtkumu miche'cho' yan minina'huyong sin i taisinangan areklamenton CHamoru.

Hu tungo' put dinanche kontra linachi, minaolek kontra binaba yan hu praktitika i sesteman chenchule' gi kannai, setbisio, kosas yan salåppe'. Bula difekto-ku siha parehu yan pumalu ya maskeseha guaha ni' ti ya-hu siha gi maloffan hinasso-ku, hu tungo' put sinetsot yan inapas isao. Lao, yo'ase' yu', akomprendiyon yu', atbetton-hinasso yu', yan hu abiba todu bisita ni' manmåtto mågi gi i isla.

Hu tungo', desde hagas tåtte na tiempo, numa'suha siñente put taotao yanggen sahnge hinengge-ña, difirensiao lina'lå'-ña kontra iyo-ku, yan i kulot sensen-ña gof takpapa' gi fondon hinasso-ku ya hu sodda na gof maolek yu' put este. Akseptao yu' para håyi na taotao achokhå' taimanu lina'lå'-ña sa' ma sedi yu' na para bai hu unu yan noskuåntos na taotao sa' unu ha' guaha na mundo.

Måtto gi mampos CHamoru yu'. Ti CHamoru i apeyidu-hu, i hagå'-hu senmenos CHamoro maskeseha binaståtdon mesklao i CHamoru esta gi håfakao na råsa guini gi iya kadenan Mari'ånas, lao ti siña na bai hu sångan na engkubukao yu' put håyi yu'.

Hu tungo' håyi yu'. Yanggen manggai prublema i taotao put CHamoru-hu, pues prubleman-ñiha ennao. Hu tungo' ginen manu yu', taimånu kuma'hulo' yu' gi lina'lå-hu yan i hinanao-hu para mo'na. CHamoru yu'.


1 comment:

Gano Excel: The Evolution of Coffee said...

Sen magahet yan asigurao I tinige Sinot Pedro Onedera. Saina Ma'ase'.

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