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Showing posts from February, 2016

Chamorro Buddhist Monk

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For most Chamorros, there is only one religion which gets to be designated as a "Chamorro" religion. That is Catholicism. Even though it has only been a part of Chamorro lives for just a few hundred years, it became intimately connected to so many parts of Chamorro life during that time, that for some scholars and individuals you cannot be Chamorro today unless you are Catholic or participate in Catholic rites. For others the Chamorro religion deals with taotaomo'na or aniti, ancestral spirits, their reverence and worship. We see elements of this in the way that cautious respect for the jungle and other natural areas persisted in a quiet supernatural or spiritual form, even when the overt belief in the spirits of Chamorro ancestors became weakened and almost forgotten. Although positive perceptions and connections to our ancient ancestors are common today, few people accept this as their religion alone. Instead they mix elements that to some might be contradictory toget…

Ha'anen Fino' Chamoru Ha' Ta'lo

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Press Release Guagua Tiningo’ February 28, 2016
Ha’ånen Fino’ Chamoru Ha’: March6th to be a “day of speaking Chamorro only.” Community is challenged to use as much Chamorro as possible to start off Mes Chamoru this year.
Mangilao, Guam – Dr. Michael Lujan Bevacqua and Kenneth Gofigan Kuper, two Chamorro language revitalization advocates are encouraging people on island and around the world to participate in Ha’ånen Fino’ Chamoru Ha’ on March 6, 2016, or a day of only speaking Chamorro. This will be the second annual Ha’ånen Fino’ Chamoru Ha’ following last year’s successful campaign, in which more than 100 people committed to using as much Chamorro as possible on March 1, 2015. The organizers hope to keep expanded this new effort at revitalizing the Chamorro language, especially with Mes Chamoru or Chamorro month soon approaching and FESTPAC less than three months away.
On March 6th, participants are encouraged to use only the Chamorro language as they go about their daily lives. The goa…

Where to Invade Next - Guam

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Gof malago' yu' mohon na para u mafa'nu'i i nuebu na muben Michael Moore giya Guahan.

I ma'pos na mubi-na siha, manmafa'nu'i guini.

Lao, ti siguru yu' put este na mubi.

Anai hu atan i listan i manindependente na mubi siha ni' manmachuchule' magi pa'go, puru ha' manconservative gi fina'tinas-niha.

Taya' "progressive" pat "liberal" taiguihi i fina'tinas-na si Michael Moore.

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Where to Invade Next - Michael Moore Strikes a Melancholy Chord
by Joseph A. Palermo
Professor, Historian, Author
Huffington Post
2/13/16 Where to Invade Next is Michael Moore's most disturbing film yet. Contrasting the progressive public policies practiced abroad with those here at home, Moore starkly drives home just how inhumane American society has truly become.

The movie is a simple exercise in comparing and contrasting American public policies with those of other countries. It's full of Moore's …

New Perspectives on Chamorro Decolonization

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“New Perspectives on Chamorro Self-Determination” by Michael Lujan Bevacqua February 17, 2016 Guam Daily Post
This Thursday, February 18 the next “Around the Latte Special Seminar Series” will be held at the University of Guam. This series of symposia is being organized by Dr. Unaisi Nabobo-Baba and myself on behalf of the UOG school of Education and UOG Chamorro Studies. In Fall Semester 2015, we held four special seminars on topics ranging from female empowerment, the Japanese occupation of Guam and the state of education on Guam. To start of the Spring 2016 Semester we have an exciting discussion titled “New Perspectives on Self-Determination in Guam.” The seminar will take place Feb. 18 from 4 – 6 pm in SBPA 129 at the University of Guam. The public is invited to attend and light refreshments will be provided.
This symposium will be focused on a newly published issue of the academic journal “Micronesian Educator” which is housed in the School of Education at the University of Gu…

More Agent Orange Updates

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You'll find a number of different articles about Agent Orange on this blog, that I've posted over the years. This one was published in the Guam Daily Post recently and didn't get much attention. Thought I'd post it here as a reminder about the dangers and poisons of militarization. It is one of the many American legacies in Guam that most people refuse to admit to or do anything about.

Check out this page Guam & Agent Orange for more information.

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Study finds link between Agent Orange and infant mortality on Guam
by Mar-Vic Cagurangan
Guam Daily Post
January 19, 2016


Infants born to mothers who lived in Agent Orange-sprayed areas were at an increased risk of infant mortality due to congenital anomalies, according to scientists who recently released the first study that examined the link between herbicides and infant mortality on Guam.

The study, published in the December 2015 issue of the Hawaii Journal of Medicine and Public Health, cove…

Manggana' si Trump ta'lo?

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Gi Botasion 2016 gi sanlagu todu manatlibas esta.

Anggen ilek-hu gi ma'pos na sakkan na siempre para fangganna' si Trump giya New Hampshire yan giya South Carolina, siempre "bileng hao!" "taihinasso hao!" i ineppen-miyu.

Lao atan ha' i botasion pa'go.

I taotao ni' todu sumangan na ti sina mangganna' gi patidan Republican, sigi ha' mangganna' gui'.

Gi ma'pos na sakkan, meggai sumangan na si Jeb! i mas takhilo' na gayu. Machuchuda' i kaha-na salape'.

Gof matungo' gui' yan i familia-na.

Lao atan ha' pa'go.

Tumunok gui'. Malagu gui' tatte para i familia-na, taya' gi kannai-na fuera di i mala'et na lago'-na siha.

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What Donald Trump's Win in South Carolina says about the Republican Party
"Time for a Reality check"
by Igor Bobic and Ryan Grim
The Huffington Post
2/22/2016


WASHINGTON -- Donald Trump comfortably defeated his Republican presidential riva…

Finding Nemo in Navajo

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I am in the very early stages of an article that was inspired by the Navajo dubbing Star Wars: A New Hope into their language several years ago. The use of native languages to talk about "pop-culture" in a general or sometimes considered to be colonial sense is not something new or recent for me. On this blog close to a decade ago I was already talking about everything from science fiction to manga to Bollywood movies in the Chamorro language. I have long felt that if you care about something, but it is alien to your native language, there should be ways to bridge that gap, especially if you are in a precarious situation in terms of language sustainability. The collective I started with Kenneth Gofigan Kuper, Guagua Tiningo' is built on this idea. We believe in it so strongly we made a film to show our ideas titled Påkto: I Hinekka last year which premiered at the Guam International Film Festival and was based on the premise that you can play a full game of Magic: The G…

Ossitan Chamorro Marianas

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Last month I spent an afternoon working with Sinot Louie Wabol, un ma'estron Chamoru giya Guahan and a major in the Chamorro Studies program at UOG. Over the Christmas break we worked on a project together titled "Ossitan Chamorro Marianas" and with the help of my TA Nathan Topasna, we recorded two hours of Chamorro jokes and humorous stories. (I nobia-hu Isa provided hanom yan fina'mames na sinapotte). At first I tried my best to keep myself from cracking up after each joke, but eventually gave up as his performance deserved a laugh track.

In all he shared more than 50 jokes, some of which I'll be using in future research. For now, though I'm glad one joke that he included is the Juan Malimanga standard about public urination.

(Juan Malimanga is peeing against the wall in an alley)

Polisia: Hoi! Para! Kao un tungo' na kontra i lai enao i bidada-mu?

Juan: Ahe', ti kontra i lai Sinot! Kontra i liga!

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Esta mas ki 40 na majors gi prug…

28,000 Comments

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When the US Department of Defense released their Draft Environmental Impact Statement for their proposed military buildup to Guam, you could see both the potential danger involved and the community's reaction in simple numbers. The size of the DEIS in terms of page numbers was close to unbelievable. At 11,000 or so pages, you could not help but wonder about the potential impacts the plans would represent to Guam. If it took 11,000 pages to describe it and discuss it, how could it be good? Shouldn't the massive volume of pages required to articulate it be a sign of danger?

The community responded with more than 10,000 comments, many of which were critical of the buildup. A significant response, close to one for each page of that infernal document. When I recall that a JGPO representative said to me that they were anticipating just "500 on the high side" I feel that through a variety of activists means, people began to question the buildup and how much it might benefi…

MLK's Final Year

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I would have loved to have talked to Martin Luther King Jr.

And when I say that, I don't mean the fiction that is often trotted out each year by governments and educational systems.

That MLK Jr. is a neutralized version of the man I've read about.

That figure is one who has been shorn of all his radical content, and becomes a middleman for the American nation, allowing it to bury its racist past and present, without having to adequately deal with either.

The MLK that I've studied was eloquent and fiery, but his targets were much higher and much more difficult to strike.

He wasn't just seeking white and black children to play together on playgrounds. He wanted some fundamental changes to American society which would ease the terrible systems of economic and social inequality, which continue to disproportionately affect non-whites.

I'm looking forward to getting a copy of this book Death of a King: The Real Story of Martin Luther King Jr's Final Year by Tavis Sm…

Sometimes I Dream of the Korean Peninsula.

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Guaha na biahi mangguife yu' put i Korean Peninsula.

Ti siguru yu' sa' hafa taiguigui i guinife-hu siha.

Hu bisita i tano' Korea un biahi ha', gi 2010.

Gi ayu na tiempo mampasehu ham yan otro na activists kontra fina'militat gi diferentes na lugat giya South Korea, put hemplo i Islan Jeju.

Gi unu na puenge manmata'chong ham yan "reunification activists" para un sena giya Seoul.

Ante di ayu, taya' maolek hiningok-hu put iya North Korea.

Sigun i media gi sanlagu yan guini giya Guahan, i ma'gas i tano' gof kaduku yan i taotao guihi manmahokse'.

Ayu na activists, ti ma chanda todu i hiningok-hu, lao ma na'lakabales i tiningo'-hu put i tano' Korea.

Ma sangani yu' put taimanu na umadespatta i dos na patte.

Sigun unu na bihu, ilek-na na i media gi sanlagu yan gi sanhaya mamparehu todu.

Ma aguiguiyi i gayun-niha pulitikat.

Ma sapotte yan ma hatsa i gobetnamenton-niha, achokka' gi ayu ti ma attettende i interes i taotao…

FTYT: Cultural Exchange

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Disrupting Buildup Fantasies

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I've been working for a few months on an article for a book on discourses on sustainability. I reached a number of deadends in my writing, but eventually, finally found a breakthrough last month in terms of how I wanted to craft my argument about how we an see discourses on sustainability in terms of discussions and critiques on the US military buildup plans for Guam.

I'll be presenting some components of my draft at the upcoming Academic Research Conference sponsored by the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences (CLASS) at UOG. I just submitted my abstract for it, which I've pasted below:

"Situating Sustainability: Disrupting Military Buildup Fantasies"
In 2009 the USDOD announced their intention to dramatically increase their military presence on the island of Guam. Although this “military buildup” was predicted to cause severe damage to the island in environmental, social and economic terms, discourse from island leaders and media reports focused primari…