Guam- The first day of the annual Inacha’igen Fino’ Chamoru or Chamorro Language Competition kicked off at the University of Guam CLASS Lecture Hall this afternoon [Monday].
Nearly 650 students from schools on Guam and the CNMI are participating in the event today and tomorrow. The individual competitions were featured this afternoon as students demonstrated their skill levels in the spelling competition as well competed in storytelling, poetry, and oratorical categories.
Talofofo Elementary Chamorro Studies Teacher Bobbie Tainatongo says her 4th grade student Hali-Kai Lujan-Gonzales practiced every chance she got to represent their school in the spelling competition. She mentions this event showcases the best ways for students to learn and express the Chamorro language.
“This is one way to perpetuate the language” said Tainatongo. “I do it through learning song and through dance. This is just another step just to get the kids to understand that we’re not just here to dance and sing. We’re here to spell. We’re here to story-tell. We’re here as a whole. We’re a whole body.”
The Chamorro Language Competition continues tomorrow [Tuesday] at the UOG Field House in conjuction with the university’s 45th Charter Day festivities.
Coordinator Rosa Palomo also says because of a shortage of funding, she has asked the Guam Legislature and the public for donations of bottled water for the students. Anyone interested in donating can call (671) 735-2193.