February 28, 2016
Ha’ånen Fino’ Chamoru Ha’: March 6th 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 goal is that no matter who they are talking to or what they are doing, they use as much Chamorro language as possible. The rationale behind this day is that although the Chamorro language is an essential part of Guam’s heritage, it is being used and being heard less and less. Ha’ånen Fino’ Chamoru Ha’ is meant to provide a reminder that in order to save the Chamorro language we have to make it a part of everyday island life.
People wanting to participate are encouraged to sign up on the event’s Facebook page and also receive updates and information through the UOG Chamorro Studies Facebook page and the website Mumun Linahyan (www.mumunlinahyan.com). Survival phrases and tips on surviving and succeeding in Ha’ånen Fino’ Chamoru Ha’ will be made available through these online venues. The event is free and open to everyone interested in sharing and using the Chamorro language that day, and will include a group meeting on March 4 at 11 am at Ron’s Diner in Mangilao. Dr. Bevacqua is the director of the Chamorro Studies program at UOG, and Mr. Kuper is a former instructor at the University of Guam and is currently a Ph.D. student at University of Hawai’i in Manoa. Both are indigenous Chamorro and fluent speakers of the language who formed the collective Guagua Tiningo’ (“a basket of knowledge) with the intent of developing innovative strategies for revitalizing the Chamorro language.
Ha’ånen Fino’ Chamoru Ha’ is one day dedicated to the simple idea that speaking and using the Chamorro language is key to saving it. On March 6, 2016, anyone and everyone is invited to speak only Chamorro, no matter where we are or what we are doing. Let us join together to show that this 4000-year-old heritage of the Chamorro language lives on through us – every day. Yanggen un lå’la’ gi Fino’ Chamoru, un na’lå’la’ i Fino’ Chamoru: “If you live in the Chamorro language, you give life to the Chamorro language.”