Monday, August 8, 2016


Tåya' ti månnge' para i ñalang.

Nothing isn't delicious to the hungry.

There are many ways of stating the truism that the truly hungry person appreciates any food at all, despite its taste or lack thereof.

"Hunger is the best sauce," said the Spaniard Cervantes, or rather "El hambre es la mejor salsa." This saying is also attributed to the Roman writer Cicero.

This meant that hunger would make tasty what otherwise would not be appetizing, just as a sauce does not an otherwise bland dish.

The more common expression in Chamorro is, "Yanggen magåhet na ñålang, siempre ha kånno.'" "If he or she is truly hungry, he or she will surely eat it." Or, this was said in the second person :

~ Nang, ñålang yo'. Håfa na'-ta? (Mom, I'm hungry. What's there to eat?)
~ Kåddun månnok fresko. (Fresh chicken stew.)
~ Uy mungnga yo'! Ti ya-ho. (Not for me! I don't like it.)
~ Yanggen magåhet na ñålang hao, siempre un kånno'! (If you were truly hungry, you would certainly eat it!)

Many times children were told to eat what was put before them, or go to bed hungry if they refused. Parents would then grin in triumph when the famished child humbly asked to eat, an hour later, what he had previously refused.

But some mothers also used the phrase above.

~ Nang, matå'pang este na fina'tinås-mo. (Mom, your dish is bland.)
~ Tåya' ti månnge' para i ñalang. (Nothing isn't delicious to the hungry.)

Depending on the mother (or granny or auntie), that last statement could be accompanied by a whack with the slipper (changkletas) or hand (patmåda).

No comments:

Post a Comment