4th Marianas History Conference 2019 Book II: Culture

Page 63

Prubido Fumino’ Chamoru On The Dangers Of Speaking Chamoru By Peter R. Onedera Master Storyteller balauroboy@gmail.com Abstract: A two by four ply board sign with red lettered text hung from the ceiling of the hallway of my village elementary school. It read “Prubido Fumino’ Chamorro,” when I entered the first grade. That sign was among three or four more spread throughout the campus and it stayed put as a reminder to us village children for the rest of our elementary years. I felt lost. That sign meted punishment after punishment in those early years. I was educated into thinking that CHamoru was a nothing and a waste of time. Other CHamorus, starting with the teachers, bought into it and it was to be a tremendous embarrassment with reminders and constant reprimands to not speak the language I grew up with. That feeling is still there today.

Håfa Adai, Guåhu si Peter R. Onedera. CHamoru yu’, ma fañågu yu’ guini gi iya Guåhan, kumahulo’ yu’ yan i fino’ håya ni’ primet na lengguåhi hu usa desdeki ma fañagu’-hu yan hiniben-hu annai ma iduka yu’ gi i sesteman eskuelan pupbleko. It was over a half a century ago, 1958 to be exact, that I entered prepreemer at what was once Sinajana Elementary School. Prepreemer was what the grades were called instead of first, second, third, etc. English wasn’t in my life until I entered school. It was a red-lettered plyboard that hung on the ceiling of many wings of my elementary school that stood in my formative memories of those years. It read, “Prubido Fumino CHamoru,” In my six-year-old mind, I read and understood that