Ha'ånen Fino' Chamoru Ha' 2017: March 5, day of speaking Chamorro only

by Kenneth Gofigan Kuper
Stripes Guam

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 5, 2017, which is a day of attempting to speak only Chamorro the entire day. This will be the third annual Ha’ånen Fino’ Chamoru Ha’ following the past two years’ successful campaigns, in which more than 100 people committed to using as much Chamorro as possible during the past two events. The organizers hope to keep expanding this new effort at revitalizing the Chamorro language.

On March 5th, the goal is that no matter who you are talking to or what you are doing, that you 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. Since the last Ha’ånen Fino’ Chamoru Ha’ in 2016, there have been important advancements in Fino’ Chamoru perpetuation such as the Inaugural Indigenous Languages Conference during FESTPAC, the approval of the Draft Chamoru Immersion Program Master Plan by the Guam Department of Education, and the revival of I Kumision i Fino’ Chamoru (The Chamorro Language Commission). It is hoped that Ha’ånen Fino’ Chamoru Ha’ is simply one event of many in 2017 dedicated to the revival of our language.

People wanting to participate are encouraged to go to the Facebook event page (https://www.facebook.com/events/697530653750261/)for more updates and information as well as visit 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. In preparation, Dr. Bevacqua will be holding a Chamorro 101 workshop, Saturday, March 4th, at Java Junction in Hagåtña starting at 10:00 a.m. 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 currently a Ph.D. student in Political Science at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. 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 5, 2017, 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. It is our hope that by giving ourselves this one day to show it is possible, we will continue to use the language everyday for the rest of the year. 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.”


Media Contacts:
Dr. Michael Lujan Bevacqua
Kenneth Gofigan Kuper

Telephone: 988-7106 (Bevacqua)

mlbasquiat@hotmail.com (Bevacqua)
kennethkuper@gmail.com (Kuper)

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