Archive for August, 2009

August 29, 2009

Baiderengul

By Santy

There is a story that is becoming popular in Palau lately to make fun of the situation that is happening almost everywhere in this country. A child watched her mother break a dish while washing dishes and wished out loud by saying, “baiderengum e mommy le ng diak a oklau” (lucky you mom for not getting any scolding from anybody). The child represents the common people (“a re mechebuul”) and the mother represents the few powerful people (“a re ngarebad el chad”) in Palau today.

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August 26, 2009

Kingellel a Klemerang

By Santy Asanuma

Has anyone in these ceremonies ever really put much thought why elected officials are required to take oath of office by putting their left hand on the bible and raising right hand and say words that we normally do not hear anywhere? We call it swearing in. And President, VP, Ministers, senators, delegates, governors, and legislators have to swear in before they start doing any work under their titles as such. We should ask why and we should answer this question.

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August 24, 2009

SHAPING THE FUTURE IS NOW!

By Fuana Tmarsel

Three years ago, I wrote an article with the above title to introduce a newsletter written, edited, and published by my 8th graders at Maris Stella School, as part of our writing project. In it, I bemoaned the apparent absence of parental involvement in the lives of the students, our children, and as we commence yet another opportunity to educate them in schools, I rewrite it to remind us that education begins at home.  As a mother of a teenage daughter, I realize that children today are much more vulnerable to vileness than those who grew up without cable television, I-pods and the Internet.

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August 19, 2009

Camaraderie over scrutiny

By Kambes

To sum up their busy and productive day on August 4, the Delegates must have congratulated each other on the back with a sense of self-satisfaction for a job well done after adopting six bills on third and final readings, but the public is beginning to question how a body of 16 people could vote unanimously each time a significant bill comes to the floor for discussion and vote.

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August 17, 2009

Chengal a Beluu

By Santy Asanuma

The reason why Palau is going through so many problems today is because it has lost its “chengal.” Call it spiritual or superstition but islanders believe that there is a force (chengal a beluu) that makes their village holy and provide protection against any imaginable bad things that can make life miserable. There used to be a belief that one cannot make too much noise disturbance in Ngerkesaol because an invisible hand will knock out the trouble maker cold in a seizure. This sounds silly to many young people today but was scary enough once upon a time in the past to enable Ngerkesaol to maintain its harmony and sense of order. It makes sense when community has control over its youth and all of its elements.

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August 13, 2009

A Reng A Klalo

By Santy

An old man related to me a scenario where another known resourceful artisan (dachelbai el chad) upon finding a group of a young able men sitting around and telling stories at the village dock looked at the ideal low tide and say to the young men, “a reng a klalo.” This saying which in literal terms means the heart is a material possession. It is quite possible that many Palauans even in their 40’s and under today have no clue what this saying is all about even though it defines the Palauan-ness as much as a part of the Palauan pride. This principle or standard is used to measure who is a contributing member of community because he has useful skills or desirable qualities.

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August 10, 2009

Traditional system under stress

Since 1981 after the institution of  the national and state governments under the  constitution  that we wrote and approved, a schism or  competition between the traditional system and modern democratic system, has been brewing. And it is clear that the imported democratic governance-electing those who govern -that we learned from the Americans is winning in overpowering and superseding the traditional system-appointed chiefs by clans to govern-that has evolved and developed for centuries in these islands.

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August 6, 2009

TELKIB ‘L CHAIS

I have added a Twitter account on the top right sidebar. You can follow the A Le Ko Kau Forum’ s tweets at https://twitter.com/alekokau.

August 3, 2009

Malekebliil Multiple Personality Senate

By Santy Asanuma

A malekebeliil a tunga ra bai. Malekebeliil is a behavioral description of a rooster that is proudest and crows the loudest on his home turf (a le ngara blil) but would wane down (tmuchel a chubel) in the slightest face of opposition when away from the comfort of his home. It is only befitting (ngara ungil el urebetelel) because Palauan thinking and cultural teaching is that your ways and behavior at home should not be displayed in public or be imposed on other people.

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