Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Chamorro Press Releases


I felt like I've written a hundred press releases this year, most of them for the Independence for Guåhan Task Force, but plenty of others for the Chamorro Studies Program at UOG. I've been meaning to post them here just to easily archive them, especially for when I apply for promotion to UOG in the coming year. It is intriguing, because what made me think of this tonight, was a column written today by Paul Zerzan in the Guam Daily Post. It discusses how the Chamorro language is a dead language. It isn't very well-written and its argument is incredibly poor on almost all possible levels. Part of it hinges on him describing an anecdote whereby a Chamorro cultural event planned in 1993 was attended by only himself, therefore clearly proving the language being dead. What struck me as bewildering about this particular portion of his argument, was that on a regular basis I attend and organize (ko'lo'lo'ña gi UOG) Chamorro events that hundreds of people attend. Just last week we had a Chamorro Christmas event that more than 250 people attended. Last month we had two Chamorro language forums where more than 300 attended. The Chamorro language may be endangered, but it clearly isn't dead yet. Let my press releases from this semester, also be a record of this truth.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Puengen Minagof Nochebuena 2016

Chamorro Studies at UOG invites you to an evening of Chamorro Christmas celebration!
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 2, 2016 from 6 pm – 8 pm in the UOG CLASS Lecture Hall. 

The theme for this year’s Puengen Minagof Nochebuena is “Tiempon Krismas: Silibrasion i Estoria-ta gi Uriyå-ta” or “Holiday Season: Christmas Celebrations from Around the World.” The evening will include singing, bilen-making, 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. A Christmas skit featuring a live bilen is also planned, reminding us about the real spirit of this season.  

Please join the students on this evening and help them show off our CHamoru language skills and cultural knowledge, and to usher in the 2016 holiday season. For more information please contact: Michael Lujan Bevacqua at mlbasquiat@hotmail.com or via telephone at 735-2800.  

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UOG Chamorro Studies organizing Inadaggao Lengguahen Chamoru
A chance for electoral candidates to show their support for the perpetuating of Guam’s indigenous language.

On October 10, 2016 the Chamorro Studies Program at UOG will be holding an Inadaggao Lengguahen Chamoru or a Chamorro Language Forum, where senatorial candidates in this year’s election will be speaking about island issues in the Chamorro language. The Inadaggao will last from 6 – 8 pm and be held at the UOG CLASS Lecture Hall. The public is invited to attend and share in this celebration of the Chamorro language. Refreshments will be provided.

Unlike other candidate forums this election season which are conducted in English, the Inadaggao Lengguahen Chamoru represents a chance to hear our candidates provides their opinions and ideas about the future of our island in the Chamorro language, which is an official language of Guam. Eight candidates in total, four from each political party will be present and will be asked questions in the Chamorro language and be required to respond in Chamorro as well. For those participating who are not fully fluent in Chamorro, they have been provided the questions ahead of time and are allowed to prepare their answers and read them in Chamorro during the forum.

In the past UOG’s Chamorro Language Program held forums of this type, most recently for the 2010 Senatorial and Gubernatorial elections. Students in Dr. Michael Lujan Bevacqua’s CM340 or Chamorro Culture class decided to revive the political forum due to their concerns that the Chamorro language, while once a vibrant part of island politics, is vanishing. The Inadaggao Lengguahan Chamorro is being organized by Chamorro Studies majors at UOG, who wrote the questions and will be coordinating the event.

The Chamorro Studies Program thanks the following candidates who have graciously agreed to participate in our efforts to perpetuate the Chamorro language and provide inspiration for our young people who are struggling to learn the language today:

Democrats: Speaker Judi Won Pat, Senator Tom Ada, Senator Rory Respicio and Senator Dennis Rodriguez.
Republicans, Senator Mary Camacho Torres, Wil Castro, Fernando Esteves and Eric Palacios.

For more information contact Dr. Michael Lujan Bevacqua at mlbasquiat@hotmail.com.

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UOG Chamorro Studies organizes second Chamorro Language Forum
Fino’ Chamoru na Inadaggao will be a chance for senatorial candidates to show their support for the perpetuation of the Chamorro language.

On October 10th, more than 220 members of the community gathered at the University of Guam to listen to four Republican and Democratic senatorial candidates discuss important issues in the Chamorro language. This event was Inadaggao Lengguhen Chamoru or a Chamorro language forum organized by students from the Chamorro Studies Program at the University of Guam. Inspired by the great success of the first Inadaggao, the Chamorro Studies Program will be organizing a second forum, Fino’ Chamoru na Inadaggao on November 1 from 6 – 8 pm in the UOG CLASS Lecture Hall. The public is invited to attend and refreshments will be provided.

This election season has been filled with forums, nearly all of which have been conducted in the English language. The Fino’ Chamoru na Inadaggao represents a chance for the community to hear their prospective leaders share their platforms and plans for Guam in the Chamorro language, which is an official language of the island. Candidates from both parties have been invited to the forum on November 1st.

At present Speaker Judi Won Pat, Senator Frank Aguon, Senator Nerissa Underwood and candidates Therese Terlaje and Louis Borja Muña have confirmed. All participating candidates will be given in the questions for the forum ahead of time. For those who are not fully fluent in the Chamorro language, they are encouraged to work with a fluent speaker to prepare their answers in Chamorro and read them during the forum.

In the past, under the leadership of Peter Onedera and Rosa Palomo, UOG’s Chamorro Language Program held forums of this type, most recently for the 2010 Senatorial and Gubernatorial elections. Students in Dr. Michael Lujan Bevacqua’s CM340 or Chamoru Culture class decided to revive the political forum due to their concerns that the Chamorro language, while once a vibrant part of island politics, is vanishing. The Fino’ Chamoru na Inadaggao is being organized by Chamorro Studies majors at UOG, who wrote the questions and will be coordinating the event.

For more information contact Dr. Michael Lujan Bevacqua at  mlbasquiat@hotmail.com.

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UOG Chamorro Studies thanks senatorial candidates for their participation in Chamorro language focused forums

On October 10th and November 1st, the University of Guam Chamorro Studies Program organized two Chamorro language forums where senatorial candidates were asked questions about pertinent issues in the Chamorro language, and were encouraged to respond in Guam’s native language as well. More than 300 members of the community attended the two events to hear 8 Democratic candidates and 5 Republicans show their support for Chamorro language revitalizing by using it when describing their political platforms. These events were organized by Chamorro Studies majors and minors from UOG in order to help build awareness of the need to use the Chamorro language everyday and in as many ways as possible. As one Chamorro Studie major Joe Garrido noted, “Ta Faneyak kosaski Ta Tungo’!”

On October 10th, the first forum Inadaggao Lengguahen Chamoru was held with the following senatorial candidates participating: Senator Tom Ada, Senator Rory Respicio, Senator Dennis Rodriguez, Senator Marry Torres, Joe S. San Agustin, Fernando Esteves, Wil Castro and Eric Palacios. Due to the positive community response from the first forum, a second Fino’ Chamoru na Inadaggao was held on November 1st featuring the following senatorial candidates: Speaker Judi Won Pat, Senator Nerissa Underwood, Senator Frank Aguon, Therese Terlaje and Louis Borja Muña. The Chamorro Studies Program and the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences wished to extend its gratitude to these candidates who took on the challenge of participating in a Chamorro language focused forum.

At the close of the second forum, UOG President Robert Underwood and pioneer in the contemporary Chamorro language revitalization movement reflected on the importance of these types of Chamorro language events. He noted that just a generation or two ago political meetings were almost entirely in Chamorro, “In pacha ayu na tiempo anai guaha miteng pulitikåt, anai dikike’ yu’, enterero gi’ Fino’ Chamorro…Hu gof hasso…giya Sinahåña, anggen guaha un miteng, guaha na biahi ma laknos todu siha i loud speaker, ya ma po’lo gi kada chålan, ya ti siña un eksåpa håfa ma såsangan…Manannok na mamdidok mamfifino’ Chamorro.” Educational events such as these and other activities taking place in the community as well as the university are essential in making possible a healthy and vibrant community of Chamorro speakers a reality. Biba Chamorro! Biba Fino’ Chamorro! Biba Guåhan!

Video of both forums will be posted today on the Youtube page Mumon Linhayan (http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCWq0jE3_cjRWpI9vE3hWOCQ). This page is was created by UOG Chamorro Studies faculty Michael Lujan Bevacqua and Kenneth Gofigan Kuper who is a Ph.D. student at University of Hawai’i, Manoa. It is dedicated to Chamorro language revitalization projects.

For more information contact Dr. Michael Lujan Bevacqua at mlbasquiat@hotmail.com.

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