Juumemmej (“Stand awake”)

Journal 4/5/1983

P2 Among other things By Akio Heine Here is a religious man’s view as to why it hasn’t been raining: too much sinning in the Republic, he said. He said the Republic has become like Sodom and Gomorrah. “Sundays are now favorite fishing days for everybody, many stores are open, and the girls are now wearing provocative trousers!”

P3 Mobil lowers price Effective April 1, these are the wholesale prices at the Majuro Mobil Oil bulk plant: Gasoline, $1.24; kerosene, $1.41; diesel, $1.32 per gallon.

Journal 4/7/1995

P1 Alien crackdown One alien was deported late last month and another will be deported this weekend as part of a Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ crackdown on unregistered foreigners. Immigration Chief Una Watakk said there is a big decline in the number of aliens registering in 1995 compared to last year. Since Immigration began taking enforcement action against illegal aliens, however, more have come in to register, he said.

P6 Independence no longer a CMI dream The College of the Marshall  Islands celebrated its Foundation Friday and Saturday, mixing fun with fundraising to increase its endowment fund. It marked the second anniversary since CMI achieved independent status from the College of Micronesia system. Sr. Irene Nieland, head of the nursing program at CMI, said in the 1980s the idea of an independent college seemed an impossible dream to many.

P8 Juumemmej (“stand awake”) By Jonathan Miller-Lane I came across a Marshallese proverb/word that I found while reading some great material produced by the Alele Museum. The word was “Juumemmej.” According to the Alele explanation: “The term Juumemmej (stand awake) is used by Marshall Islanders in circumstances requiring concentration, alertness and a sense of responsibility for the welfare of others. Traditionally, it was used mostly to describe the circumstance of the helmsman on a long ocean voyage. The helmsman had to keep his eyes on his riggings, the stars, the wave patterns and the weather signs while others slept in relative comfort. But, the broader meaning of the term challenged those in a position of leadership to exercise their authority as seriously as though such ocean conditions prevailed.” Now, western concepts of citizenship and representative government have been introduced. The result has added the other side to this wonder word. Not only must leaders “Juumemmej,” but citizens must too. That is the essence of the rights and responsibilities of citizenship, of democratic government. A citizen must also exercise their right to vote as seriously as if “ocean conditions prevailed.”

P14 Junk food generation meets Vitamin A crisis Not one of 600 Marshallese children tested have normal levels of Vitamin A, according to an ongoing Ministry of Health and Environment survey. The majority of 600 children checked on Majuro, Ebeye and Arno have Vitamin A deficiency that is moderate to severe, according to Dr. Kennar Briand, director of Public Health. “People are eating cheese balls instead of pandanus,” said Health Secretary Donald Capelle. “They’re drinking colas instead of coconuts. It’s a change in people’s lifestyle and eating habits.”

P21 Bwiji wins third straight tourney 17-year-old Bwiji Aliven won his third straight Marshalls Billfish Club competition on saturday as his 301 marlin was the biggest fish of the tournament. Bwiji’s marline edged out a 292 pounder weighed in just minutes earlier by Timothy Anok and his Majuro Stevedore Co. teammates Jijam Kaisha, Sebio Shoniber, Dusty Tartios and Jack Hermios. Bwiji’s win increased his President’s Cup standings. The top 10: Bwiji Aliven 959, Gerry Smith 473, Jackie Jacobs 448, Almo Momotaro 428, Timothy Anok 410, Ronnie Reimers 360, Lester Nakamoto 357, Imang Chong Gum 354, Redmond Simeon 313 and Lee Bellu 239.

Journal 4/7/2006

P10 Losing out Hey, are we nuts? Every year, the Taiwan government offers Marshallese several all-expenses paid five-year scholarships for students to complete their BA degrees and 1) hardly anyone applies, and 2) the majority of the people who do apply and are chosen flame out after a year. In contrast, down south in Kiribati, there are 300 or more people applying for just five Taiwan scholarships. 

P15 Nott and mom win tourney Marshall Islands tennis star West Nott continues to rack up tennis trophies and experience. But his latest accomplishment involved a tennis victory with his mother, Elizabeth (Nemeto) Nott of Mili. They teamed up to play in the US Mother-Son Doubles National Tournament in Chicago. They won. Meantime, Oceania Davis Cup captain Jeff Race has named Nott as Oceania’s lead player for his team’s critical second round tie-breaking match against Malaysia to be played April 7-9 in Noumea.

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