Indigenous health


The state of the health of our people isn’t very encouraging per a hybrid study by the Division of Public Health here. In fact, it is discouragingly alarming. The study looked into food we eat, health-wrecking habits like smoking and betel nut chewing, binge drinking, and insufficient exercise.

The study says that 60 percent of our people are obese. It simply means most are overweight! Mirrored against our sedentary lifestyle and huge appetite, wouldn’t this number spike over the next decade? Alarming!

I can’t refute the findings in that I’m a living witness how our people gobble up food, especially around this time of year! Coupled with the rat race of the holiday season we more often than not overeat, rushing to make it to our next activity. Poor eating habit is especially bad when one develops the couch-potato culture—slam yourself before the TV set—while munching more junk food.

Understood that at age 35, our midsection begins to overflow voluntarily. Does it mean we should fast track weight gain by overeating? Why would you want excess baggage you could do without?

Overeating is the root cause of major health malaise among our people. Overweight triggers hypertension (dangerously high blood pressure) or eventually crash land into Type II diabetes. One easily leads to fatal stroke or massive heart attack, the other amputation (when it reaches chronic level) or kidney failure followed by dialysis.

By the time you begin taking medication, it’s already too late. It requires personal resolve to embrace healthy eating like cutting down fatty, salty, and sugary food. Eat in moderation. Overstuffing your tummy denies it its regular function. It’s here when your journey begins steadily into difficult lifetime health issues. Control the amount of food you eat on every meal, daily.

Culture: The lagoon between Susupe and Garapan used to be littered with fishermen, especially on weekends. We no longer see it. Most of the folks who fished have sailed permanently into the sunset. Families that used to do pull nets are also gone. It must be the death of another cultural tradition, the prize of modernity.

The various forms of fishing are healthy in terms of food gathering and exercise as you stretch your way in the water. By the time you return to the shore there’s something to burn, sipping beer. Today, we only see the latter taking over as we booze it down along the shore. No more fishing! I miss those days.

Farming: Going to the family farm after work or during the weekend was the thing families do even in the ’60s. It slowly shifted to jobs in the private and public sectors.

The distribution of large family land to family members who started their own also contributed to the loss of what was once farmland. Eventually, traditional farming would be a part of our written history, if not already.

Embracing a shift in lifestyle was inevitable. It’s all part and whole of the shift in cultural practices that constantly changes. Going full bore into learning new demands of the digital age would mean more shifts from our ways. No worries! We’re not alone. Tried to get myself an iPhone but my son discouraged it because it’s for the young folks. Really? No wonder heads are downcast and glued to the device, ignoring the essence of real time human communication.

Neñkanu`: I klase yan kantidan neñkanu` ni ta kakanu` dumetetmina dispues libran tatautau-ta. Yangin sessu un` gulusune chumochu siempre lokue` lachadeg un` pogsai sinturamu `nai mas makat libramu.

Tutuhun tatkilu` haga` ni ti mauleg para hagu. Dispues mas chadeg nina`ye hau chenot daibites (type two) pot mampos megai asukat gi haga`mu.

I diskuidu gi hinemlo`mu dispues de nina`ye hau daibites siempre un` padese ti mañieñiente papa` sanotmu. Piligro este `an chetnudan hau. Makat mana magoñg. Uttimoña debi uma-utot.

`Nai inadite hau daibites, pininu` siempre reñihion-mu `nai solu ma-daialasis hau `nai siña managasgas binenu siha gi haga`mu. Makat na pinadese sa` debi umakula haga`mu tres biahe gi semana, kuattru oras kada biahe. Hagu solu kapitan hinemlo`mu.

Familia: I sentrun pisu gi finana`guen famaguon gaige primet lugat gi halum guma` familia. I dos saina tumuhutun makreansan `sino primet edukasion famaguon niha. Tana fitme este na patte gi ha`anita!

Sumasaunau finana`guen kutturan relihion tanu` `nai ma-asegura na ma-attende dottrina gi entre semana. Mauleg este manafitme mas para adelantun niha i famaguon gi linala` espirituat.

Estague` na pisu `nai umeyag haf` echu che`chu` tautau `sino tunas yan dinanche. Ha utut papa` mañan chanseru gi ti mañgombene siha na aktibidat. Magof i patgon dumalalag i familia para i misan Dameñgo. Siempre u felis kareraña.

Indihinau: Te`ug yan didog chinatsagan familia siha gi bandan fuetsan moneda `nai sumen makat mafahan nesessidat niha. I sueddun i empleau siha gatdun gi fache` diskuidu pot mas ke 20 años na tiempu. Mas ke 14-mit gumagana sueddun popble taimanu pinegan federat. Hasan hatsada piot gi empleau bisnis siha.

Kritikatmiente, hu akanteha haf` i kuattru na ahensian gobietnu ni mangai obligasion umadelanta ha`anen natibu machochogue. Seru! Lau mantinane` otru siha na pinetsige kulan mantañga yan bachet.

Dimas de umatatiye mandatun konstitusion mantinane` che`chu otru ni mafa` tampen sinetnan para u kubren maisa siha pot maletke dichu responsablidat niha. Gi hilu` este na diskuidu, masotta pinadesen familia kulan boten sin ni magtus añklaña ya sige lumauya gi taduñg tasi. Dios mihu!

Yahu lumi`e haf` mas na planu guaha ginen hamyu fuera de taya`. Anchu na responsablidat mana`e kada depattamentu yan ahensia ni oppan yan klaru na mafatañgaye sin fotmat na ineskohe. Man-achacha bulachu i kuattru na kapitan `nai ni unu tumuñgu` umesgaihon galaide` linala` natibu. Dios mihu!

John S. Del Rosario Jr. | Contributing Author
John DelRosario Jr. is a former publisher of the Saipan Tribune and a former secretary of the Department of Public Lands.

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