Wednesday, June 5, 2013


Chamorro family after the war

From the viewpoint of an American missionary written in 1946, describing the typical Chamorro family :

"How unusual in this modern generation to see children respectful to their elders; young girls being chaperoned - no matter where or with whom they go; boys listening to the wishes of their fathers and obeying to the very letter of the law; young girls learning all the arts of home life before contemplating marriage; young boys being able to support a family by the use of his own hands before this sacred step is taken.

Parents are truly the rulers of their homes, but they rule with love.  The attachments of fathers and mothers for their children is very evident, and accompanied by more outward manifestations than we find in the States.  All children and young people are taught to greet their parents and old people upon entering the room by kissing them or bowing to them or raising their hands to their lips - or more correctly their noses - the Chamorro phrase for this is 'smelling the hand.'  The mark of respect is also extended to the priests, or pales.

At social gatherings, one never sees the children; they are outside playing, quietly, and never need to be reprimanded when guests are present.  (Like all other children they are full of mischief.)  If one eats at the table with a family you will be quite impressed to find the servers none other than the boys of the family, and sometimes the girls.  This they do with complete poise and courtesy.  The attitude of the young boys for their parents is extremely edifying.  Parents still have a great deal to say about the conduct of their children, whom they shall marry, what they shall do in life, etc."

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