Customs and traditions of Guam
Despite the centuries-old European and American influence, the heritage of culture Chamorro is still clearly traced in all aspects of local life. And in recent years, the Government of the Island is undertaking serious efforts to maintain and develop local culture. Much is done for studying and restoring the language of this ancient civilization, since today only old people consider Chamorro their native language, the rest of the inhabitants of the island prefer to use English. The most obvious inheritance of Chamorro is a peculiar language of gestures and facial expressions, often called "Aibro", which actually constitutes a separate communicative system – many gestures or facial expression can strengthen or relax the importance of a word, often giving it a completely opposite sense. Japanese and Chinese languages are often used in most hotels and some stores. At the same time, some confusion of linguistic forms of various peoples inhabiting the islands are well noticeable. Despite the fact that now Chamorro is noticeable less than half of the island’s population, they are still dominant in the political and social life of Guam.
The prevailing religion on the island – Catholicism (especially among the Chamorro and Philippine immigrants), although here you can meet representatives of almost all world faiths. The church has a fairly significant impact here, and most cultural events are timing to all sorts of religious festivals, including annual fiesta in honor of the saints of patrons of one or another settlement. Each village has its own church around which all cultural life focuses, and often one and the same church holds services immediately for several confessional groups.
Traditional Family community for many oceanias on all Mariana Islands and Guam in particular can be much weaker than on most nearby islands. Mostly, local settlements and social groups are still organized by the community (clan) principle in which the power belongs to the elders or the most respected community members. However, this order is more and more "blurred" foreign influence, remaining the echoes of the tradition rather than the real social force. Most of the settlements are dominated by quite European norms of the public device, when all the cases are managed by the election mayor or other local official, and all socially significant decisions are made on the basis of wider than the interests of one community, prerequisites.
Ancient culture of Oceania is very well traced in dancing, choral singing and musical traditions of the island. Locals are very musical, and the influence of immigrants from other countries will bring here a noticeable element of the mixing of cultures and traditions. Now here you can meet traditional theatrical dances for chamorro, and Philippine states, and characteristic "Female dancing" Caroline archipelago, and quite European forms of musical culture, often performed under the accompaniment of traditional wooden drums, which gives them a special local flavor. Also, the traditions of people’s and applied fishers – local weathered, carvers on wood and stone, metal masters are well known for the whole region with their works.
The attitude of local residents to tourists is very friendly. The characteristic features of the local etiquette include almost Japanese reluctance to deny guests or fear upset it with his refusal. Therefore, there are often a complete misunderstanding situation, since a local resident can easily give the advice that, as he believes, does not upset the tourist, but not at all that corresponds to reality. Some Asian is clearly visible at the same time "Humanity", Not turning, however, the framework of the usual careful attitude to the guest. And at the same time, in some regions, the influence of the old traditions of the island’s indigenous people, with numerous taboos and ceremonies. Therefore, when visiting local villages, it is recommended to consult with a guide or other representatives of the turbines on possible subtleties of local rituals. However, in most tourist areas, the orders are quite European (rather – American), and any difficulties in communication with local residents can not be afraid.
Handshake – the usual form of greetings both at a meeting and in parting.
Relationship to clothes is quite democratic. In official cases, it is assumed to have strict evening clothes (however, there are enough light trousers or a long skirt and a strict shirt with a sleeve of medium length), and the evenings will use a light sweater. In everyday life, you can do a light dress and even jeans (however, in the local heat it is often not the best choice) or just T-shirt and shorts. Beach suits outside the coastal feature are not recommended, too open swimsuits can also cause disapproval (although there is hardly someone in the territory of fashionable hotels in Tonom-Bay to pay special attention).
A characteristic feature of local residents, immediately striking to all tourists, is the habit of chewing Bethel ("Pugua") after meal.