Showing posts from February, 2015

Surviving Ha'anen Fino' Chamoru Ha'

Ha’anen Fino’ Chamoru Ha’ is just a few days away. I wrote about this in my column last week, but thought I would revisit it again for those who would like to learn more and hopefully participate. 
Ha’anen Fino’ Chamoru Ha’ boils down to this: On March 1st, those who accept this challenge are to spend the entire day only speaking Chamorro or if they are unable to, at least try to use as much Chamorro as possible, as much as they know or can. This challenge means that no matter who you are talking to or where you go on that day, Chamorro is the language that you will be using. If you are ordering food at Kings, do your best to order in Chamorro. If you are using your Whatsapp on that day, Whatsapp your circle of friends in Chamorro. 
After we first announced this challenge, one excited participant, Charmaine West, who currently lives in Idaho created a Facebook page, on which 74 people have already signed up to try their best on Sunday. Charmaine recently became a mother and so that expe…

Japanese Revisionist History News

At first I was going to put "revisionist history news" as the title for this post, but the more I thought about it, Japan and Germany, those villains of World War II, are cited the most frequently as being the most forgetful and the nations most likely to erase or whitewash their histories. This is a very seductive discursive proposition, because by focusing on the way other nations wish to hide their shameful violent and inhuman past, it can easily make you righteously oblivious to your own nation's terrifying past. The United States certainly shouldn't treat Japan as some terrible white-washer of history, especially when the United States itself is built on genocide and has several national holidays that perpetuate pathetic myths about the origin of the US, rather than acknowledging that genocidal genesis.
******************** Japanese crown prince says country must not rewrite history of WW2
Naruhito makes rare statement on importance of ‘correctly’ rememberi…

A Year in Atate

For the past year I have been assisting one of the men who fought the Japanese at Atate, Jose Mata Torres with the publication of his memoirs, “The Massacre at Atate.” Torres was a young man at the time who and wasn’t a main organizer for the attack but he said that he had never felt more inspired or exciting in his life, than to see the men from his village rise up and in order to defend their families and their lives, face off against their violent occupiers. On February 24th at 6:30 in the CLASS Lecture Hall at UOG, the book “Massacre at Atate” is being released. There will be a reading by Jose Torres and then a panel discussion afterwards. Please come and join us for this important step for Chamorro Studies, but also just the remembering of Chamorro history and in turn Chamorro possibility.
As I come near to the end of this project it reminds me of something I posted earlier, last year titled "Three Massacres." It was originally posted on this blog, but I posted it rece…

No Longer America's Mayor

Ilek-na na Si Rudy Giuliani na ti ha guaiya Si Obama Amerika. Ai adai. Mas put patida este na sinangan kinu minagahet. Parerehu Si Obama yan todu i otro siha na presidenten Amerikanu. Manhongge gi put Amerika na uniku gui', na mas takhilo' gui' kinu todu i otro nasion siha. Lao Presidente Obama mas ti sesso ha puni i isaon Amerika pat i West, lao manhohongge ha' put i uniku-na i US. Gi fino' Ingles ma fa'na'an este "exceptionalism." Gi este na isao i bida-na i US sasahnge yan i bidan-niha todu i otro na nasion siha. Anggen manhatme i US otro tano', sahnge este yan otro na hinatme ginen otro na nasion. Si Rudy Giuliani ha sen hongge este. Anggen i US chumo'gue maolek ha', lao i otro ahe', cha'-niha. Si Obama ha hongge este lokkue', lao i sinangan-na mas mesklao, mas lebok. Ha admite na ti perfekto i US, ti taiisao, lao ha sapopote ha' sinembatgo ayu na hinasso na sina ha cho'gue maseha hafa malago'-na.


Massacre at Atate

“The Massacre at Atate” by Jose M. Torres
This memoir tells the story of the courageous people of the village of Malesso’, who under Japanese occupation, fought and killed their captors, and liberated themselves.
Published by the Micronesia Area Research Center
Thursday February 26, 2015 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm UOG CLASS Lecture Hall
The evening will feature a reading by the author, a panel discussion about the events in Malesso’ during World War II and a chance to meet the author and buy copies of the book.
Refreshments will be provided.
For more information contact Professor Michael Lujan Bevacqua At 735-2800 or

Youtube Ta'lo

I've had a Youtube account for many years now, I think 8 or 9, lao ti siguru yu'. I didn't post many videos for a while, and I'm not sure why, perhaps because I got a better camera a few years ago and with the not that great internet in the various apartments I've lived in, it takes several hours to post videos nowadays. I recently started publishing videos again, after starting a number of video projects and being inspired to engage in this media form. My Youtube videos are frequently shaking and suffer from very bad audio and never edited in anyway. But still they can provide an interesting view into certain events on island and elsewhere. Every once in a while I get a message from someone who couldn't be at an event or who was looking for information on something that has happened in Guam and they thank me for my shaky almost avant garde looking movie.

Here are some recent videos that I've posted.

A video from the 2011 Inachaigen Fino' CHamoru. The n…

Ha'anen Fino' Chamoru ha'

Ha'anen Fino' Chamoru Ha'
by Michael Lujan Bevacqua
Marianas Variety

A constant question in my life, something that I am always considering and pondering and people around me always bring to me seeking answers is, “How can we save the Chamorro language?” Students ask me in class. Elders ask me in line at the grocery store. Random people come up to me at the mall and ask me. Last week someone started talking to me about it while we were at urinals next to each other. People are always seeking big ideas or fantastic innovations. They want to hear about plans involving Rosetta stone or language apps or TECH talks or fancy new curriculum created by people with shiny degrees or ancient words that reveal the true nature of Chamorro cosmology. These are all cool ideas but saving the language can be so much easier and simpler than all that. All we need to do to save Chamorro is that those who know the language use it with those who don’t and those who don’t know how to s…

Famaguo'on i Tano' yan i Tasi

Maila ya nihi ta fandana' gi este na dinana' inakomprende yan inapatte! Gof likidu este na gurupu! Manperfekto Chapones este siha, lao ma silelebra ya ma na'fafamta i fino' Chamoru!!

Mumun Linahyan

This week I, along with a few others will be unveiling a new blog that we have been working on. It is titled "Mumun Linahyan" which is one of the Chamorro words for saying "revolution." Although the title of the blog might make it seem that it will be strictly political, it isn't necessarily. There will be posts about literature, movies, comics and other types of media. Sometimes these posts may have some political dimension, sometimes they may just be instances of nerding out. As much as possible things will have Guam connections to them and as an excited side effect, the blog will feature plenty of things that don't appear to have any Chamorro connection, nonetheless written about in the Chamorro language.

I wrote the passage below to talk about the meaning behind the name. 


According to The Chamorro Dictionary by Donald Topping, “mumun linahyan” is a way of saying “revolution.” If we break it down we can s…

Sinlessness and Comfort Women

I am always intrigued at the way American critiques of Japan often time focus on the way that Japanese conservatives are always seeking to erase of minimize sexual slavery during World War II. The women that were forced into sexual slavery across the empire Japan was seeking to create have a tragically complex ideological function. They are on the one hand discursive means through which the nations formerly colonized by Japan reassert their national power. The bodies of those violated women become the means through which a very masculine national honor can be regained. For the Japanese themselves, they are part of their former colonial past that they struggle to both erase but also deal with. For the conservative part of Japan they are something that is tied to the masculinity of the nation. Part of the way the nation was once allowed to act. Part of the way that, for those conservative sectors, it should not have to apologize for. They do not want to erase the sins of the past, but …

Sniping for Jesus

Chris Hedges stitches together so much troubling truth about both the film American Sniper and the book it is based on. It is a sobering reflection on the film, the mythology of Chris Kyle and how those things relate to the soul of a nation. After reading this is does make you wonder, for all those people who feel patriotic or a swell of national pride after watching the film, what type of nation do you imagine you are a part of? The film is incredibly effective at focusing the viewer on the sentimentality and sacrifice of one character, much to the detriment of rest of the ideological universe of the film ultimately being unquestioned or unexamined. One is too busy tearing up or saluting the heroism of Chris Kyle, that few seem able to question the rest of the film and what it is hiding or proposing. People crave someone like Kyle as being the tip of their national spear, but don't think about what kind of nation would want that type of person there. That type of person represen…