Friday, February 24, 2017

Setbisio Para i Publiko #34: Mannginge'

It's almost Mes Chamoru once again!

For my free weekly Chamorro classes today I brought a record player and a wide range of Chamorro LPs from my collection. We listened to a few songs, discussing the lyrics. One of the requests from the students was this song below "Mannginge'" from Jesse Bais. It is one commonly heard at parties, in stores, and also used by teachers for performances with their Chamorro classes.

The practice of mannginge', or the sniffing and sometimes kissing of the hand of an elder is the subject of different community debates. First there are the debates over whether or not it is dying or still persists. Although it may not be something practiced in all Chamorro families today, it is definitely not dead, and if anything I find more and more families practicing it because of the belief that it is dead. Second there are the debates over who you should or should not pay respect to in this way. This is something that I struggle with as well. Should this gesture only be for those much older than you in advanced age? Or can it be for someone who respect and want to honor even if they aren't at a regal age yet? One problem I face is that I sometime forget my actual age and end up sniffing the hands of people who are not that much older than me, but I simply want to give respect. And finally there is the debate over the origin of this practice, is it derived from Spanish rituals for paying respect to someone or something older? The lyrics of the song claim that it comes via the priests teaching Chamorros to pay respect to them and to God, but this is questionable. The practice has plenty of similarities to other Austronesian, Pacific and Southeast Asian rituals as well.

Guampedia has a short article on the practice, which could use some updating and elaboration.


by Jesse S. Bais

Ñot, Ñora
Mungga mana’falingu i respeton i saina
Dios de ayude ihu, Dios de ayude iha
Mungga mana’falingu i respeton i saina

Este kostumbre mannginge’
I tutuhon-ña ginen i Españot
Manmafa’nå’gue hit as Påle’
Para ta sångan Ñora yan Ñot

Parehu ha’ este na respetu
Ya ta respetu si Yu’us
Chiku i kannai-ña pues hit mandimu
Ma bendisi hit todus

Mannginge’, este kostumbren Chamorro
Mungga mana’falingu respeton i saina

Famagu’on Chamorro
Ekungok este na kånta
Todu i tiempo
Respetu i saina
Mantiene i kostumbren i familia

Go’te i kannai i amko’
Mungga mamahlao, fannginge’
Maolek este na tiningo’
Na’magof na siniente Parehu ha’ este na respetu
Ya ta respetu si Yu’us
Chiku i kannai-ña pues hit mandimu
Ma bendisi hit todus

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