Be the change you want to see in this world

"Be the change you want to see in the world."
-Mahatma Gandhi

Thursday, November 06, 2008


Hafa Adai!
As part of my commitment to continue to share cultural poems relating to our beautiful island of Guam and its people, here’s Korasón Poem #45 titled Chenchulé yan Ika. Enjoy!


Chenchulé yan Ika

One of the things I appreciate in our culture

Is the chenchulé system

For it’s one that has assisted my family in times of need.

I remember when my Tata passed away,

Hundreds of people gathered in support

To assist in his burial,

Not only emotionally but financially as well.

Many people gave ika,

Such as delicious food for the rosaries,

Or money to help our family.


I was amazed at the countless people

Who paid their respects –

A sign of a valuable relationship

That will always be remembered.

I’ve been told by my parents

That the chenchulé given

Was part of a reciprocal connection

For various good deeds my Tata had done

To help others while he was still alive.

It brightens my spirit to know

That if any big event may occur,

Whether it be a funeral, wedding, or christening,

I know there will be that network

Of financial and emotional support.

© mnrivera and ltgumataotao


*chenchulé: present (money), donation, thing that is given away, gift.
*ika: donation, gift – given to the family of a deceased person.

Source: Our Native Daughters’ Reflection of Guam and Its People by Dr. Matilda Naputi Rivera and Lois Taitano Gumataotao

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