The Cultural Heritage Month’s Uumw Chahan Night capped off the monthlong celebration of being Chamorro and Carolinian last Sept. 30 at the Carolinian Utt.
Carolinian Affairs executive assistant John Tagabuel said the celebration showcased a feast consisting of Chamorro and Carolinian dishes that were traditionally prepared. “Tonight we are celebrating our Uumw Chahan Night with the underground cooking of the pigs and the different kinds of rootcrops and fruits such as taro, breadfruit, potatoes, and banana,” said Tagabuel.
He also said that Uumw Chahan Night would look back at all the cultural celebrations that were performed throughout the month. “We’re basically focusing our ending of the Chamorro Carolinian Cultural Heritage Month, and this is the way we are going to celebrate—with a blowout and also to highlight every event that we celebrated and to recap on it.”
Rep. Felicidad T. Ogumoro (R-Saipan) praised the effort of those behind the monthlong celebrations. “I am very proud, especially of the work of our CHM planning committee, co-chaired by Cinta Kaipat and Frances Sablan. It’s been an excellent work. They have worked with community members to make sure we touched all of the aspects of our culture, and this is the combination of that. The theme is ‘celebrating who we are’ and that is what has happened all throughout the month.”
Ogumoro also said that unity can be achieved through celebrations such as these. “It is very important that we continue this celebration so that we can grow stronger. I cannot emphasize the need to have the community, both the Carolinians and the Chamorros, to come together and share their knowledge and work to make sure that their cultures live on in the generations to come.”
She also recognized the efforts of the House of Representatives. “The support and the leadership of our House, working with the minority members, is to be commended. They have put together the necessary funds to make sure that this has funding.”
Financial Committee member Kodep Ogumoro said that credit must also be given to Ogumoro because she stayed active and relevant to the preservation of traditions and cultures in the CNMI. “I do want to give a lot of credit to Rep. Ogumoro, because she’s really worked hard to make sure that the indigenous people recognize the importance of maintaining our culture, maintain who we are, and celebrating who we are. …It’s important that we respect our diversity, respect everyone, and recognize and celebrate who we are.”