Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Read this book!

I bought Lino's book back in December when I was in Saipan for Dad's funeral. I think I burned through it in about 2 days. It is a very easy read, written as if Lino was in your living room telling you a story. I picked it up a few days ago and read it again.

It is a great book and I want the world to know about it.

The book is an autobiographical account of Lino's quest to discover his Carolinian heritage. (I'm Chamorro. Carolinians are the "other" Micronesian ethnicity on Saipan. I'm not going to give an historical account of the Chamorros and Carolinians in this post. If you want to know about it, read the book or look it up on google.)

Back to the book:

What makes this book so interesting is that during Lino's search into the past, everything around him was flying face first into the modern world. To put it in perspective, around the same time that my father was going to college in Guam and then law school in Washington, DC, which would ultimately help bring these islands into the modern world, Lino was donning a loin cloth and learning how to cross the ocean in an outrigger canoe so that we wouldn't forget where we came from (although I'm not Carolinian, thier culture is very much a part of Saipan and I consider it part of who I am.)

Some of the anecdotes in the book are hilarious. I especially liked the story about getting drunk and falling of the back of a canoe in the middle of the ocean. I also liked the stories about fishing and the story about the tatamona that fell in love with Lino when he was younger.

The book isn't all fun stories and rainbows, though. Lino gets very heated when he discusses the loss of his people's culture and the lack of respect that young Carolinians and off-islanders (ok, hoales) often exhibit. All of this good stuff comes in the final chapter, Seeking Balance, but you have to read the whole book in order to put it in perspective.

I'm not really into doing book reviews, so I'll end it right there. If you are in this part of the world, I highly recommend picking up this book. They sell it at a couple different places on island. If you are off-island, let me know if you want a copy and I'll see about shipping one to you. I think it is only about $25 or so (maybe less, I don't remember).

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What a resource this guy is! I haven't read the book yet, but I will pick up a copy. Don't you think we need to do some oral history here, to speak with other Chamorro & Refalawasch man'amko who can document the cultural treasures of these islands?