Wednesday, May 15, 2013


Chamorro attachment to the U.S. was sealed because of the experience of Japanese occupation

Life is not always black and white.

As this American missionary's writing shows, even some Americans did not like every aspect of Guam's rapid movement towards Americanization, much of it due to the Chamorros themselves.  Yet, this same American missionary was one agent of that very process.

Written in 1946, just two years after the Americans returned to Guam :

"It seems to me that many of the younger people are actually ashamed of their Chamorro ancestry, traditions and customs;  and all too eager to forget them in Americanizing Guam; but even in this short time I have become aware of the wealth of tradition and heritage which belongs by right to these people.  It would be indeed a shame if they lost their own identity in American customs...  The people of Guam have a heritage equally as valuable, and should be encouraged to hold on to each small part of it."

As these words were being jotted down, Chamorros on Guam started calling themselves "Guamanian," most newly-arrived American missionaries were not learning to speak Chamorro, Chamorro families with some money were sending off their children to the mainland for schooling and the thrust of all ambitious families and individuals was to become as Americanized as possible.

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