2019 Miss Marianas Shannon Sasamoto has been tapped by the Office of the Governor’s Youth Affairs Office to advance cultural preservation through language among the CNMI’s youth.
Sasamoto, who admits that she needs to be more fluent in the indigenous languages, said it is of her personal interest to learn her own language. The CNMI’s two indigenous languages are Chamorro and Carolinian.
“I feel that a lot of people my age…can relate with me. I’m someone that does not know my language fluently but I appreciate my culture to the utmost but, of course, it’s a different level when you know your own language,” she said. “It’s never too late to learn our native language.”
Youth Affairs special assistant Monique Sablan said it would be proper to have Miss Marianas be able to speak the indigenous languages.
The Youth Affairs Office provides avenues for youth to learn about the islands’ culture through its Gualo Rai Youth Learning Center and Chalan Kanoa Manhoben Center. They will also be opening the San Vicente Youth Learning Center early next year.