On Oct. 14, Guam Gov. Eddie Calvo signed a proclamation commemorating the creation of a unique and historic program at the University of Guam, a major in Chamorro Studies. This proclamation signing kicked off “I Sakkan I Inestudian Chamorro” or a year of events and activities designed to promote this program to the community. This year will kick off with a launch event titled “I Tinituhun: Inestudian Chamorro gi UOG” on Oct. 24.
The Chamorro Studies major is a track within the Pacific-Asia Studies in the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences. The Pacific-Asia Studies Program also features majors in Japanese Studies and East-Asia Studies. Students that major in Chamorro Studies will become fluent in both reading and writing the Chamorro language, and also become well-versed in Chamorro history and culture. The Chamorro Studies program intends to play an active role in terms of the preservation, perpetuation, and promotion of Chamorro language and culture.
The launch event will feature a day of presentations and performances aimed at introducing the program to the community and informing students as to the professional opportunities a major in Chamorro Studies would offer. Guests on panel presentations will discuss the way that knowledge of Chamorro language, culture and Guam history can enhance your job prospects. Poetry readings, musical performances, writing workshops, and other activities will also take place. The event will feature a performance by Chamorro dance group Rasan Åcho’ Latte. All these events will take place in the Humanities and Social Sciences Building at UOG.
That evening the Chamorro Studies program will unveil their Fall Speaker Series, “The Chamorro Language gi Fino’ Chamorro.” For thousands of years, Chamorros told their story in the Chamorro language or gi Fino’ Chamorro. At present, due to the decline in use of Chamorro language this is no longer the case. This speaker series will feature the stories of four Chamorros, in the Chamorro language. The first speaker of the series will be Tun Jack Lujan, an internationally recognized Master of Chamorro Culture. He will talk about his life as a blacksmith and the importance of the traditional Chamorro tools to Chamorro culture and history. The lecture will take place in the CLASS Lecture Hall, and a merienda will be provided.
The remaining three speakers are Ann Marie Arceo, founder of Hurao Academy (11/7), Flora Baza Quan, the Queen of Chamorro Music (11/14) and Eddie L.G. Benavente (11/20), former Maga’lahi of Nasion Chamoru.
The lecture and the launch event are free and open to the public. (UOG)