The Time of Thanks and Giving: Gratitude
We are currently in the second to last month of the year. Despite these troubling times, we should still take a moment to reflect the positive things that have happened and be grateful for them. Our island way has always been centered around the thoughtless giving unto others with no expectation of anything in return. To show our gratification, there are certain words and phrases that you may or may not know to express this. One of the common ones known throughout the CHamoru community is Si Yu’os ma’åse’ which is our way of saying thank you. It is a staple phrase used throughout different CHamoru media. Using the word dångkulu simply adds an emphasis of gratitude. Depending on how the word itself is used; it can be used to describe how big something is. In this case, it is our thanks!
Interestingly enough, however, when you break down the phrase, it is not a literal translation. Yu’os is the CHamoru word meaning God. When coupled with the word si, we are denouncing that something belongs to God. Lastly, ma’åse’ is an adjective that associates with having mercy, pity, or forgiveness for someone. When placed together as a sentence, the whole phrase actually is wishing the receiver of gratitude the highest of God’s blessings/mercies/etc. In that sense, it’s considered one of the most thoughtful things you could say to someone.
While this is the usual thankful greeting, there are other words that are worthy of being brought to our attention. For instance, gråtu can also mean gratitude, gratefulness, or simply thanks. However, it shouldn’t be confused as a shorter way to say thank you. The word alone can be used as a noun in a sentence. Furthermore, there is another variation of the word: gråtifikasion which is what is called a chamorro-ized word. Here, the translation isn’t too difficult for it’s simply gratification spelled the way a native CHamoru speaker would pronounce it using the CHamoru alphabet. A more thorough discussion on these types of words will be explained at a later date. For now, we will conclude this enlightening lesson.
Si Yu’os ma’åse’ for reading and see you all next time!