Totu Taotao Unu

At the dinner show my mother and I went to last night (review forthcoming), the show made a great deal of all people being one. This was done by a variety of means–including a choreographed portrayal of the creation of the first human beings as the “children of the sea” and culminated in the end where people were invited on the stage to dance along with the dancers there. I was struck by this focus on the oneness of humanity and so I wanted to comment at some length about it while also looking a bit at the history of the Chamorro people themselves and their connection with the people of the sea.

The Chamorro themselves are part of the great sea peoples of the Austronesians and have lived on the island of Guam for what appears to be about 4000 years ago or so. The language that they speak is of unknown relationship to the other languages of the region, although it is notable that like the people of Palau the Guamanians (and their kin in the Northern Marianas Islands) do not speak an Oceanic language like Melanesian or Polynesian, but speak an older form of the language that is more closely related to the languages of the Philippines, Indonesia, the coasts of Southeast Asia, and Madagascar. The Austronesians themselves left China after feeling pressure from the expansion of early Chinese culture and traveled first to Taiwan (where they form an aboriginal population today), and then to the Philippines and from there gradually across every possible island in the Pacific that they could locate and settle, ending up in a range that extends from Madagascar to Hawaii and Rapa Nui. It is of interest as well that it appears that a separate kindred group of people were not people of the sea but rather people of the land, namely the Tai-Kedai people who make up various minority peoples in China as well as the Shan of Myanmar, the Thai, and the Laotian people.

At any rate, we as human beings frequently like to play up how different we are from others. The study of the history of early mankind is full of the proliferation of genus and species based on the discovery of fossils, before it turns out that such beings are found to have repeatedly throughout the course of history interbred with each other. It is a generally acknowledged truth that human beings will boink whatever they can, and it so happens that this tendency has helped to keep humanity one by virtue of the intermarriage links that exist between societies. The act of lovemaking is something that makes us one with another being, and that oneness is not something to be viewed trivially or flippantly. As human beings it is all well and good that we recognize the distinctive elements of our cultures and groups, but we also need to recognize that common humanity that comes from being created in the image and likeness of our Father.

And it was especially interesting to celebrate the oneness of humanity in a diverse group of people that included a great many people from various countries and cultures. We may chat in our different languages and have a variety of backgrounds and perspectives, and all of that shows the rich complexity of what common human tendencies have in expression, but that richness and diversity also spring from commonality and unity. We need to remember both sides of that unity in diversity need to hold simultaneously. If we fail to appreciate the unity of humanity, including the universality of reciprocal justice and respect and consideration, then the diversity we have will not be respected or regarded by those who will, when they seek power, try to force their own way down everyone else’s throat.

About nathanalbright

I'm a person with diverse interests who loves to read. If you want to know something about me, just ask.
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