SAIPAN : SAIBOK CHOTDA or AGA'
GUAM : GOLLAI ÅPPAN AGA'
I enjoy the traditional differences between Guam and Saipan (and Luta and Tinian) in language and customs. I think these differences add color and flavor to our collective Chamorro experience. Just as a family would be less interesting if every child were exactly like the other, our Chamorro family is all the more interesting because of our differences.
These differences are very manageable if we simply adhere to the common-sense rule to "do in Rome as the Romans do." When I am in Saipan, I use the Saipan term. When I am in Guam, I use the Guam term. How difficult is that?
In both Saipan and Guam, we eat the same dish which involves cooking some starch (lemmai, chotda or aga' or suni; breadfruit, banana or taro) in coconut milk until most of the liquid in the milk evaporates and only the oil of the milk remains in white, bubbly patches.
In Saipan and the rest of the CNMI, the dish is called saibok. In Guam, it is called gollai åppan.
Gollai means "vegetable" and åppan means "the water in the dish has evaporated."
The late Escolástica Tudela Cabrera of Saipan explains :