In this day and age of global modernization, many individuals struggle to maintain their cultural identities and roots. Those who were born and raised in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands are no exception. Indeed, the constant desire to stay in touch with one’s roots is especially evident in people from the Northern Marianas who have decided to pursue opportunities elsewhere.
If you’re one of many individuals who have migrated from the CNMI, you may find yourself longing for your Chamorro hometown. The physical distance between you and your loved ones can be palpable, making you feel homesick and lonely as a result. You might also be concerned about losing the strong connection that you once had with your cultural heritage.
Fortunately, these are all perfectly normal feelings to experience, as they are all part of the adjustment process. In time, these emotions will pass. For now, you can try a few things to make you feel less detached from your CNMI roots. Read on to learn more:
Stay Up to Date on Current Events in CNMI
It’s so easy to get caught up in what’s happening around you that you may forget or become apathetic about current events in the CNMI. But being mindful of this and doing your best to inform yourself of what’s going on back home can help you feel closer to your roots.
Hence, try to keep in touch with your friends and family to check on them and so that they can fill you in on the latest news. Doing so can also help you stay a part of their lives. Even a quick call, e-mail, or text message can do wonders for maintaining your relationships with them.
In addition to catching up with your loved ones, you can also continue watching programs from news networks in CNMI. Many news networks have an online presence nowadays where you can stream and read updates in real time. By following these media outlets, you can stay on top of what’s happening in your Chamorro hometown.
Donate to Local Causes
If you used to volunteer for different charitable organizations back in the CNMI, you can still support them from afar. Every month or so, you can set aside a small portion of your paycheck so that you can send money to a few charities of your choice.
For those who may not have much to spare, there are other ways you can help out your favorite charitable organizations. An easy way to do so is to spread the word about their initiatives on social media. This can help capture the attention of other people in your current country of residence, and perhaps even encourage them to donate as well.
Cook Traditional Chamorro Foods
Sometimes, you may find yourself craving for certain meals whenever you’re feeling nostalgic about the good old days. With that said, cooking something that reminds you of the CNMI can help you feel closer to your roots.
Thus, ask your parents and other relatives to share their Chamorro recipes with you so that you can try making them yourself. While you may not be able to completely replicate each recipe due to limited access to the right ingredients or cooking equipment, you can still emulate the flavors of home. And because sharing is caring, you can also cook these meals for friends in your current place of residence, as it’s a great way to introduce them to Chamorro cuisine.
Celebrate Local Holidays Like You Would in CNMI
Though Chamorro holidays may not be recognized where you currently live, there’s nothing stopping you from observing them in your own home. You can even invite your friends and neighbors over so that you can share your cultural traditions with them.
Your celebrations don’t have to be extravagant, either. You can either ask them to come over for a simple dinner or have a few drinks with them after work. Truly, holidays are more enjoyable when you’re in good company.
Support All Kinds of Chamorro Artists
One good way to stay connected to your roots is to show your support for Chamorro artists. This goes for both creators of indigenous and modern art. Don’t just focus on artists back home, either; it’s highly likely that there are Chamorro artists in your current country of residence as well.
To start, try looking up a few artists online and pay a visit to their art shows. For artists located in the CNMI, you can still support them by sharing their art on your social media feeds and buying their creations.
It’s more than possible to stay true to your cultural identity even if you’ve already settled down in a different country. No matter where you’ve migrated to or how long you’ve been away from your hometown, your CNMI roots will always be a part of your identity. We hope that these tips can help you feel more connected to your community back home.