Since 2013, “Don’t ever whisper” became a popular phrase often used by students in schools.
This year, we have “don’t ever whistle” because fewer people are practicing Christmas jebtas (dance groups) like they used to in previous years.
Two years ago, the Journal began covering Christmas dance practices as early as mid-November. Last year, the sound of the whistle started going off the last week of November. This year, the groups started late and fewer people are gathering where once they were packed. It’s like the sound of the whistle fainted.
We inquired why fewer people are practicing Christmas songs and dances and an elderly lady and two taxi drivers responded with the same answer: bingo.
This year, the bingo frenzy went through the roof. More and more people are joining the game of luck.
So the elderly lady said the reason she quit going to the bingo game is because the last time she went she came home and all her cups, plates, even knives were gone. “I’m the only lady in the house,” she said. She was looking forward to join the Ebon jebta departing earlier in the month to Ebon Atoll but she fears she may return to an empty house.
Read more about Christmas celebrations in the December 30, 2016 edition of the Marshall Islands Journal.