Thursday, December 03, 2015

Puenge Minagof 2015

This Friday, December 4th from 6 - 9 pm in the HSS Atrium, the CHamoru Language Classes at UOG are organizing their annual event, Puengen Minagof Nochebuena at the University of Guam. The event is free and open to the public. There will be dancing, singing, the praying of a nobena, a fashion show and meggaigai na bonelos. Here is the flyer for the event, the press release, as well as a short interview I did about the event.


Puengen Minagof Nochebuena 2015
An evening of Chamorro Christmas Traditions

The Division of Humanities, College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences and the University of Guam’s Chamorro Studies Program cordially invite the UOG and Guam community to Puengen Minagof Nochebuena, an evening of Chamorro cultural festivities connected to the holiday season. The celebration will take place on Friday, December 4, 2015 from 6 pm – 9 pm in the Humanities and Social Sciences Building (HSS) Atrium. 

The evening will include dancing, singing, the praying of a nobena and plenty of fina’mames (sweets). CHamoru language students will be making traditional Chamorro Christmas desserts such as boñelos dågu, but also offering a wide variety of boñelos options, including boñelos mangga, boñelos lemmai, boñelos aga’ and others. The highlight of the evening will be an exhibit of varieties of modan CHamoru or Chamorro fashion by students of the CHamoru language classes at UOG. Other language classes have also been invited to show off fashion from their cultures. 

Please join the students on this evening and help them show off our CHamoru language skills and cultural knowledge, and to usher in the 2015 holiday season. For more information please contact: Joseph Franquez at or Michael Lujan Bevacqua at You can also reach them by phone at 735-2800. 

Si Yu’os ma’åse’.


Interview with Jojo Santos Tomas 
Pacific Daily News

For this year's Puengen Minagof Nochebuena we are changing things up a little. Normally we have a Bilen making competition, but this year we've instead decided to make a life-size Bilen display with students acting out the various roles of the Nativity figures. Not focusing on the Bilen this time means students are freed up to work on other aspects of a Chamorro Christmas celebration such as cooking and singing. Chamorro Christmas favorites such as "Dandan i Panderetas" and "Fanmatto Manhengge" will be sung, as will songs people may not be familiar with in Chamorro, such as a translation of "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer." For the food, students will be making an array of Chamorro treats, such as åhu, latiya, kalamai, but the central dish will be boñelos. Rather than focusing on the traditional styles which are dågu and aga', we're encouraging students to experiment and try out boñelos lemmai, boñelos kahet and boñelos mångga. All in all we are hoping to have more than a dozen different types of boñelos for the community to taste.

This event is important for our CHamoru Language students and for the community, because we are not only passing on the language, but we are passing on certain traditions that have long been connected to Chamorro culture. In preparing for Puengen Minagof many students end up talking to their elders and relatives about these traditions, and this helps to facilitate inter-generational transmission of language and family history. Delicious food and merry festivities is the perfect environment for this type of education.

The Chamorro fashion show will feature Chamorros in outfits ranging from Ancient to Colonial. Students will be wearing shell jewelry, sade' and grass skirts reminiscent of our ancient ancestors, but also mestisas and khaki pants with woven hats in traditional Spanish and early American-era lancheru style. The fashion show or modan Chamoru was included to add some extra color and flourish to the evening.

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