I have not written one of these posts in a while, although the
collecting of Chamorro sayings continues. Fina'kuentos Chamorro is
where I post different Chamorro sayings or phrases, they are
important in providing us a sense of the Chamorro worldview, both
in history and in a contemporary context, and give us a sense of
the Chamorro particular flavor to life. Sometimes this flavor can
be very familiar to other cultures, sometimes it can be very
Catholic, sometimes is can appear to be very tied to the land and
people here themselves.
This saying "Si Yu'os, Yu'os. I taotao, taotao ha'" can be both
very simple, yet also encompass very deep thoughts. It translates
simply to "God is God, man is man."
On the surface it is simply that men should not worry about things
that are beyond their control, as those things lie in God's hands
and he will determine what happens. It is a simplified serenity
I find this saying useful in terms of its critical potential in
referring to those things that are supposed to be beyond our
ability to affect or influence. To this end I have used this saying
in my Pacific Daily News
columns and even academic articles
when trying to discuss Chamorro layers of epistemology.
For example, if you swap out "Yu'os" and "taotao" and replace them
with nouns more familiar to political status discussions, you
receive the division that animates much of Guam's decolonial
deadlock, "Iya Amerika, Amerika, Guhan, Guhan ha'." The US is that
which brings life, order, prosperity and possibility, Guam is just
Guam, and that's it.