Language Losses on College Campuses

A few years ago, the University of Guam underwent a long discussion over the changing of its GE or General Education requirements for students. The intent was to update the system and lower the overall credit requirement. No system reform can ever be perfect or make all stakeholders happy, but this overhaul seemed to be strangely arbitrary and disconnected from UOG's mission, purpose or advantages as an educational institution.

For most of its existence, you could argue that UOG was a colonial institution. You could argue that it continues to be one today. When I say colonial, it is not meant to describe that it came from the outside and therefore it implicitly bad. This is something that has been and can continue to be argued over forever. When I say colonial, I am invoking it to refer to the type of education it provides. How it is rooted and what it is meant to do. All cultures have some form of education and that education comes with different intents, to teach certain things, …

Un Rigålu put Ha'ånen Guinaiya

Ha'ånen Guinaiya ta'lo gi otro simåna.  Estague un rigålu para todus hamyo guenao huyong ni' manamåntes put guinaiya yan i fino' Chamoru.  Estague na tinige' put courtship yan konstrumbre Chamoru put umakkamo' åntes di gera.  Tinige' este as Illuminada Perez, ni ma'estra gui' gi kinalamten para i nina'la'la' i fino'-ta.  *************************** Kustumbren Chamorro put Inakamo’ By Illuminada Perez Annai sumuttero pat sumuttera un patgon, mana’eyak i lahi na patgon gumualo’ yan pumeska, parehu ha’ gi saddok pat i tasi, yan mamoksai månnok yan babui. I sottera, mana’eyak manlakse, manganchiyu yan manarekla gi halom guma’. Desde i diesisais años i patgon, ha tutuhun manenteresao put guinaiya yan inakamo’. Yanggen esta ti siña machomma’ i lahi yan i palao’an ni’ u maguaiyan-ñiha, pues i lahi ha sangåni i mañainå-ña para u fanmamaisen saina. Tenga i nana, i tata, i tiha yan i matlina, mañaonao manhånao para i gima’ i nobia. Sesso este …

Inacha'igen Fino' CHamoru 2019


Klas Mamfok

Ever since we created the Chamorro Studies Program at UOG, there has been an expected tension within the university over what should or should not constitute the program offerings. While there isn't much debate over whether the Chamorro Studies program should offer courses in Chamoru language, Chamoru history or that discuss Chamoru culture from a theoretical perspective, there are regular disagreements over whether or not the program should offer "culture" courses. As someone who went off to grad school with the intent of helping to "decolonize" the University of Guam, a place where I had received my BA and my first MA, this conflict is usually very personal.

Most everyone can agree that academia should make room for "indigenous knowledge" in a trendy or fad-like sense. In the same way in which everyone might want to connect something about climate change to their work to be aligned with prevailing intellectual currents, we find something similar in …

12 Days of Christmas - Guam 2018 Election Version

Last month for UOG's annual Chamoru Christmas celebration "Puengen Minagof Noche Buena" my Radical Chamoru History class performed their own version of "The Twelve Days of Christmas" using Chamoru and also references from the Fanuchånan semester and Guam's recent election. It was a lot of fun watching them write it and as you can see in this picture, they used appropriate props when performing it. Here are their lyrics:

"I fine’nina na Krismas, este ma susedi
I fine’nina na na palao'an gobietno
(The first day of Christmas, this is what took place
The first female governor (of Guam!))

I mina’dos na Krismas, este ma susedi
Dos na Påkyo
(The second day of Christmas, this is what took place
Two typhoons (that happened during the semester))

I mina’tres na Krismas, este ma susedi
Tres freskon mannok
(The third day of Christmas, this is what took place
Three fresh chickens (new fresh, faces in the Legislature)

I mina’kuåtro na Krismas, este ma susedi
Kuåttru na gåyu

State of the Movement Live Stream

Tune in to Fanachu! on Facebook, Friday, January 4th, 2019 from 9am-12pm for a special live stream event, "State of the Movement."

Random Political Status Thoughts on the Edge of a New Year

In less than a week, a new Governor will take power in Guam, as will a new non-voting Guam delegate and a number of new senators will be sworn in for the island's legislature. I have certain hopes for the new crop of leaders. There is great potential for them to learn lessons from the past, especially on the topic of decolonization. In recent years, the small, but significant maturation of the community on the topic, is part of the fact that for decades it has been circulating in conversations and political agendas. For a long time, rhetoric around decolonization wasn't worth much to voters, and wasn't really worth it. That is why for decades it was rare for politicians to share what their personal preference would be for Guam in terms of political status. It wasn't that they didn't have opinions or thoughts on it, but it was either something politically risky or simply taibåli. 

For the past few years, I've been interviewing Guam politicians from the previous…