By Lori Lyn Lirio
IN a bid to preserve the Carolinian culture, the Carolinian Affairs Office hosted a culture center summer camp for children.
A total of 69 kids participated in the program, according to CAO Cultural Program Coordinator Del Lieto. He said two accommodate all of the participants, two summer camp sites – Carolinian Utt and Kagman Community Center – were setup. The program, which started last June 11, will end on Friday.
Lieto noted that all of the participants, children aged 6 to 12 years old, were interested to learn the Carolinian culture and language. He added that the children will also be taught bead making, weaving, mwaar making, traditional dance and sing in Carolinian.
“Our main target is to impart them our culture and teach them our language. Our goal is for our youth to learn Carolinian language and culture, and when they grow up they have a little something from their culture. We want them to understand who they are where they came from,” CAO executive assistant John Tagabuel said.
Moreover, he said their target participants are Carolinian kids but many children of different nationalities – Filipino, Chinese and Korean – enrolled and attended the summer camp. This is the second year that the CAO hosted a summer camp.
In 2017, 55 children participated in the summer camp, where children learned Carolinian songs, identify colors and count in Carolinian language.
Tagabuel said they provide different activities to blend the language in a fun way. This year, he said the CAO partnered with the Division of Youth Services, Arts Council and Women’s Affairs Office.
Marianas High School Refaluwasch Club members also volunteered to teach children the traditional dance.
Staff from CAO and Arts Council served as instructors for the activities. The Public School System-Food and Nutrition Service provide free breakfast and lunch for the children.
According to an open source website, the Caroline islands or the Carolines are a widely scattered archipelago of tiny islands in the southwestern Pacific Ocean, to the north of New Guinea. Politically they are divided between the Federated States of Micronesia in the eastern part of the group, and Palau at the extreme western end.
Historically, this area was also called Nuevas Filipinas or New Philippines as they were part of the Spanish east Indies and governed from Manila in the Philippines.