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Chamorro Language Competition displays island's language

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by Jolene Toves

Guam - Today may have ended the Chamorro Language Competition but as University of Guam professor Rufina Mendiola shares the turn out shows how much our island's youth are excelling in the island language and culture.

"This is the time of the year that we put out on display what teachers in the school have done in the year and also with the Marianas islands and private schools," she said.

An event that is looked forward to every year thousands of school children displayed their ability to speak the Chamorro language through thirteen genres.  "To include proficiency oratorical the poem song and dance the chant the play," she added. "One way to really promote our culture is to see it in the arts of the young children."

One of those participants, Persha Perez, chose to step out of her comfort zone and display the Chamorro language through song.  "To me the Chamorro language is basically who you are and there are different ways to express it," she said.

As we mentioned song is not the only genre used to display the language Mount Carmel Catholic School students took to the stage to perform a chant. Mt Carmel teachers assistant Richard Quitigua said, "This competition is very important is a competition about preserving our language it a language competition and it is important for our students to learn about their past about the people of the Marianas Islands."

Quitigua added that the Chamorro language is a symbol of our islands people and while not all the competitors can speak or understand Chamorro fluently competitions such as this will keep the language alive and thriving. 

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