October 17, 2013

The Immigrants

By Fuana Tmarsel —-

I was trying to explain to my friends the matrilineal system of Palau and how it is an essential part of one’s identity and therefore, one’s place of belonging. I began, “in Palau mothers are highly esteemed and therefore, one has to be careful when making references to another’s mother. In fact, I continued, the phrase “your mother” can be a curse word depending on the context wherein which it is used. Though times have change and young people have made the word common, like hello and good bye, as is the use of other curse words, one still has to refrain from using the word because mothers are important part of one’s sense of belongingness in Palauan culture.” Continue reading

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October 15, 2013

Shutdown Meltdown Showdown

By Jackson M. Henry

Politics revealed its ugly twin brother last week in Washington, DC in a form of a government shutdown. Its whiplash sent tremors to world stock markets and rattled people’s nerves worldwide. Even distant island communities like Guam, CNMI and Palau which depends on US Government programs, will not be spared by the wrath of this latest US political grand standing. Everyone is bamboozled just how those Washington follies can be so damn irresponsible. Continue reading

October 15, 2013

The modern Era of Nomadic Palauans- “Delidai Era”

Words from Orakidorm

By Stevenson Kuartei 

Palauan history includes two distinct eras; Uab Era, which depicts the formation of the island itself and Milad Era that tells of the formation of the Palauan society and its social structures (Aimeliik, Koror, Ngaremlengui and Melekeok). The oral history as it is told is consistent with the scientific explanations of volcano eruptions, formation of coral reefs, growing of vegetation, migration of people and formation of social structures. So from the barren sea arose Palau and around 4,000 years ago Palauans began to arrive at least according to Jared Diamond in his book titled,  Guns, Germs and Steels. Through out this time we have come to understand certain things about our world; For example, people from southern Palau (Lukes) inhabited Koror, Aimeliik and Ngarenglui or mostly south and west coast of Babeldaob. On the contrary, those who migrated from north (Ngeurangel) ended up in the east coast, Melekeok and along the east coast including Ngcheschang in Airai. We also understand that these migrations were result of the trade winds that are mostly easterly and westerly. They also followed the current around Palau that is clockwise in its direction. This is the reason why it rains in Aimeliik most of the time. It is because the science of rain formation follows these factor of water condensation and not only because Aimeliik represents the private ‘you know what’ of Uab. Continue reading

October 15, 2013

Uaisei Uaisei (Acceptance Without Question)

By Santy Asanuma —-

For years I keep on hearing “omelaes” (criticizing with heavy dose of gossiping) among women at the Mechesil Belau Conference that when a proposal or question begging for approval is presented the only response from the crowd would be “ng uaisei” (so be it). This is unfair if not complete analysis of the actuality because to say that the crowd does not have an alternative recourse to speak their views is not true. There are cultural ways to present one’s views or position even if they are not compatible with prevailing position held the group. So cowardice (bedelekall) and lack of social ability to deal with hard situations cannot be used as excuses for being weak or not being heard or blame one or few persons for thrashing our culture. Majority of Palauans take this path. This is the point of this paper. Continue reading

October 14, 2013

Diousekool

By Gaafar J. Uherbelau —-

How many times has someone said ak di ousekool and the next thing you know, they’ve made it a habit? Like chewing betel nut with tobacco. It usually starts off with chewing from a friend’s tet (something I realize I have done more often than I should) and then you end up having a tet of your own. And then you’re hooked and you cannot seem to stop. Then you start announcing how you should quit and how it’s become an expense and yet you cannot. Continue reading

October 14, 2013

Killing “mom and pop” store by design

Words from Orakidorm

By Stevenson Kuartei

Recently I have had the opportunity to talk with various members of the community and in particular those who struggle from day to day trying to manage their small “mom and pop” type retail stores. Their concern revolves around the recent legislation on minimum wage and other taxation schemes. But their main concern revolves around minimum wage and how that will impact not only on their bottom line but actually their survivability. For them it means “death” to their aspirations to hopefully one day “make it”. They are even acknowledging that their chance of surviving is less than many of the front businesses along the strip that are operated by Chinese, Bangladeshi and Filipino nationals. There is no “assistance offered” to assist them in realizing their dreams which in many cases include the future of their children. Instead, there are just “road blocks” being created. Continue reading

October 14, 2013

Happy Independence Day and Viva 19 Years of Sovereignty

By Jackson M. Henry —–

On this occasion of Palau’s 19th anniversary of independence, once again, our nation celebrates with enthusiasm and pride for having come a long way to take an enviable spot on the world stage. On this special day, we stand tall and salute our founding fathers for their courage, persistence and visions in carving out a nation from of these small islands, barely visible on the world map. It is a statement to the world that when it comes to the pursuit of freedom, justice, the truth and human dignity, size does not matter. Sovereignty assures us that Palau stands equal, shoulder-to-shoulder, with other nations in the world, regardless of their size and wealth. Having pained by the horrors of war and imprisoned by the shackles of colonialism, freedom and independence is sweet. Independence is also our nation’s mantra that says, “We have arrived”. As an elderly Ruback said affirmatively, “it has always traditionally been part of the Palauan spirit to live free and independent in accordance with the laws of nature”. Continue reading

October 14, 2013

Happy Independence Day (Soak El Momimokl)

By Santy Asanuma —-

Note: a writer captured in writing on two monumental events: adoption ofCompact in 1994 and the long process leading to our creation of our constitution; It is such sentiments that free us at last! Continue reading

October 3, 2013

Feedback

By Gaafar J. Uherbelau —- 

First and foremost this week I wish to thank all of those people who have approached me in person with kind words regarding the column over the past couple of months. Thank you all for your positive and encouraging comments. Continue reading

October 1, 2013

Celebration of Liberty, Freedom, Sovereignty, Identity, Culture, and Dignity on 19th day of independence

Tia Belau Editorial, September 30, 2013 —- 

This 19th Day of Independence on Tuesday, October 1, 2013 will be a wet one judging from the current weather  conditions and the   forecasts for the next few days. And it is said to be a good omen as  the rain will wash away all the dirt and bad things on the land.  Continue reading

September 27, 2013

Palauan Money and its Bali-w

Words from Orakidorm

By Stevenson Kuartei

In recent months the discussion around Palauan money has inundated forums all over the land including the crevices of gossips, coffee brothels, huts of generosities, whispers of bulkolks and Internet latrines. And the discussions have revolved around who shall serve as the Czar of Palauan Money Treasury who will decide what are “real” Palauan monies and what are not or “Bali” and what is the value assigned to them. And who will or shall appoint this Czar.  Continue reading

September 27, 2013

Globalization And The Palauan Culture

By Jackson M. Henry —-

The wind of change blowing over Palau intensifies and accelerates incessantly. The wind is called Globalization and it refers to the movement toward a homogenous, westernized and consumer culture that knows no national boundaries. International trade is the very heart of globalization but it has become a divisive topic among political activists and policy makers today because they say it has the power to destroy cultures worldwide. Continue reading

September 26, 2013

DUI

By Gaafar J. Uherbelau —-

There was a thread on facebook recently talking about how we could limit the number of injuries and deaths caused by alcohol use in Palau. Some respondents went so far as to suggest that we completely ban the importation of alcohol products. Others wanted to intensify fines and sentences of alcohol related offences to deter further use of alcohol. Although these are great ideas, I think it would be impossible for them to be effective unless we put enough research and resources behind them. Continue reading

September 25, 2013

9th KSG, Budget and Priorities

Tia Belau Editorial, September 23, 2013 —- 

Koror State voters, once again, are going to the ballot box on November 12 to elect their governor and members of the 17-seat legislature. Continue reading

September 24, 2013

Palau Tourism Beautification Fund

By Jackson M. Henry —-

It is no rocket science that beauty attracts and beautiful destinations attract visitors. For this reason, city managers and destination promoters invest in beautification programs to create their unique “signature” as means to draw visitors. Research has proven that direct correlation do exists between a destination’s beauty and the volume of their visitor arrival and return rates, according to Sue Templeton of Brand Mgt. Hence, investing in the beautification of a destination pays back big dividends. Continue reading

September 22, 2013

Standing at the corridor- “Mededechor era ilasngesungel”

 

Words from Orakidorm

By Stevenson Kuartei

I am on my way to the hospital. Why are you asking? No, I need to go and get my medicine to shut you up because you are getting very loud and annoying. Because of you are talking to me all the time, I find myself standing by Topside Bangladeshi Store, by Franco’s or by Yano’s Market and sometimes by the Penthouse Hotel listening and talking to you. Sometimes I sit by Topside Minimart or NECO Plaza and sometimes just wondering around Ben Franklin. And then I wonder if these ‘normal’ people notice me being there. I am sure they do because some of them are quite mean in what they say. What? Hey! Be quiet and stop talking to me because I am trying figure out what to say to my Unco. I am trying to tell my story. I know! I know I have a million dollar in the United States treasury, which President Reagan gave me. I just need to convince these ‘normal’ people to send me there so that I can talk to the head of FBI regarding my money. Continue reading

September 21, 2013

Berrotel El Udoud (Underground Economy)

By Santy Asanuma —-

A Bali a sebechel tomelii a klau el tekoi (counterfeit Palauan money will cause serious problems). Money will put people into a fierce confrontation (klautok). As one Bangladeshi friend of mine in our recent conversation, forewarned that he is not surprised if some of them will be hurt or killed because of greed and cheating among themselves. He said that they combine their money to open a store. But when money starts coming in the one running the store does not want to share the profits anymore. This is where lies and cheating reach boiling point. This is the universal evil that even during biblical times it was forebode (mildung). Money that are not earned in the right way tends to be underground (berrotel er tirkel kirir el mo medengei). Continue reading

September 19, 2013

“BH”

By Gaafar J. Uherbelau —-

A couple of days ago I had a really interesting conversation with some colleagues as they interviewed me about my thoughts on the stigmas associated with mental health issues.  As part of their class work they were noting ideas on how we can minimize these stigmas that are common in Palau. Continue reading

September 19, 2013

The Seven Types of Kelulau

Tia Belau Editorial, September 16, 2013 —-

Kelulau refers to important secret or sensitive political matters.

The legend of kelulau er Belau is an unusual one. It tells how the Kelulau of Palau was obtained from the snake of Angaur (Bersoech er Ngeaur). This legend is an illustration of how the kelulau came to be; it is not an explanation of its actual nature and function. The legendary derivation of the kelulau of Palau from a snake is because a snake is long and has but one head and one tail. By comparison, the kelulau of Palau is well maintained and systemized from its head down to its tail in each beluu of Palau. Kelulau arranged and established the kebekuul and teleuechel titles, made them sacred, and empowered then as well. Kelulau installed them as klobaks of the various beluu of Palau and entrusted with aspects of kelulau to enable them to preserve Palau. Continue reading

September 17, 2013

Syria

By Jackson M. Henry

Last week, not a day went by in Palau without Syria stealing the top spot in the world news headlines. Many were bewildered at the horrific scenes on CNN of the children in the town of Zamalka being killed or gassed by chemical weapons. Palau is now following up on this fast developing international incident that could mark a turning point in Middle East’s political history. Continue reading