The Bevacqua Bilen


As is the tradition for the Guam Bevacqua family, we put together our family bilen this month. 

Each member of the family gets their own figure in the bilen representing them. 
This year’s bilen is different however, since part of my gifts for everyone was to get Desiree, Sumåhi, Akli’e’ and Chuguangguang (Lulai) each a nesting doll. 
Each was made in Ukraine and was purchased to support Ukrainian small businesses and artists. 
Sumåhi is the Pokémon, Akli’e’ is the Star Wars, Desiree is the Dracula and Chuguangguang is the Neni na Yoda. 
I forgot to buy one for myself though, so I chose the cassette tape for the Chamoru album by the DPW Singing Bus Drivers to represent me. 
The background for our family bilen is the two disc vinyl album from Johnny Sablan “A Chamorro Christmas.” 
Si Yu’os Ma’åse to Lulai’s nina Isa for the wooden name tags that came with our gifts this year. 
The bilen and many other Chamoru Christmas traditions come into Chamoru culture through Catholicism and so for those who aren’t Catholic, this time of year it can be difficult to find cultural ways to express your identity as a Chamoru. This is one reason why we as a family still practice the bilen, albeit in some very different ways. In the same ways in Chamorus for generations would incorporate local elements into their bilen, by adding in natural materials and sometimes even adding in local animals such as the karabao, we adapt it in our own way. 
Magof nochebuena yan Biba Krismas nu hamyo todos!


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