Sunday, September 11, 2011

CHAMORRO EXPRESSIONS : AMERIKÅNON PAO ASU

faqs.org
AMERIKÅNON PAO ASU
Smoke-smelling American

There's probably no way we can get to the bottom of this curious expression.  It was invented by someone unknown for unknown reasons.

A "pure" American, someone with zero Chamorro blood, is not an "Amerikånon pao asu."  He's just plain "Amerikåno."

A Chamorro with white, American blood is precisely an "Amerikånon pao asu."

I think it especially applies if the American blood is on the father's side and one carries the American name.

I don't think it applies to the grandchildren of an American, especially if the grandchildren have a preponderance of Chamorro blood by the time it gets to their generation.

Why Chamorro-American mestisos should smell like smoke (åsu), nobody can explain.  I have heard someone explain that although Chamorro-American mestisos are usually white, since they are not pure Americans, and live more or less with Chamorro customs and habits, they don't "smell" like pure white Americans.  Perhaps they hang out at the ranch a lot, where one cooks on an open fire, rather than a stove, and where one smokes out bugs and one burns trash - all making one smell smokey.  But others disagree with this interpretation, or at least have never heard it.

After all is said and done, WE Amerikånon pao asu know who we are.  The term applies especially to me because I do like a lot of incense at my Masses.

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