Sunday, April 15, 2007


I need everyone's help here. I'm doing a piece on betelnut chewing. I need to find out true history, people's views, experiences and opinions on the subject. Here are a couple of questions that you can answer for me, but please feel free to add comments. Share your jokes too!

1. If you chew, how did you get started?
2. What's your mix of choice?
3. Do you chew hard betelnut or soft? Why?
4. What's your overall view of chewers?

Thanks a lot! If you know any elders, chewers, historians I can talk to, please let me know.


Tony said...

Question: Why chew? whats the use if you're just gonna spit it all out anyway. I think kids today chew in school and around they're friend so they can look cool. I don't think its cool. I think it dumb and makes no sense. I' d choose gum over pugua any day

Mona said...

I think it would be really fascinating to delve into reasons why people chew.

My 8th grad science project focused on the varying blood pressure levels of chewers but I never fanned out to more complex physio or psychological data. Then again, all I had was a stethoscope and blood pressure cuff.

If you could share, that would be great!

Anonymous said...

I love to soak my betelnut in jack daniels, then pop it in right into my mouth before I get to work. It helps me deal with all the incompetent and inefficient bureaucrats that only care about their own welfare. A perfect example of this is all the pompous congressmen and senators that refuse to take a pay cut or slash their own exhorbitant branch of government while they watch their own constituents starve from lack of opportunity and means to provide for their family. What a bunch of hypocritical assholes.

Anonymous said...

I love to soak my betelnut in jack daniels before and during work. It helps me deal with all the hypocritical assholes, like our congressmen and senators, who refuse to take pay cuts or slash their own bloated branch of government while they watch their constituents starve from lack of opportunity and means to provide for their children.

Patrickstar said...

I'm Chamorro and chew only mahetok pugua-Ugam. I grew up learning that pugua was for the manamko only. My grandparents were avid chewers and enjoyed their pugua prepared with all the works - mahetok pugua, afok, pupulu- all pounded together in a hand held pestle that has been in our family since ever since.My first exposure to islanders chewing soft young pugua came as a shock. To pick pugua before its time is sacrilegious-pugua abortion! Ai Yu'us.
I think it's a shame that today most people that chew direspect others by spitting wherever they feel like. In 1700, Father Charles Le Gobien, of the Society of Jesus wrote the HISTORY of the MARIANA ISLANDS Newly Converted to the Christian Religion and of the Glorious Death of the First Martyrs who Preached the Faith There and said this about the Chamorros of that time,
"It is considered an incivility among them to spit in the presence of a person to whom respect is due. Their delicacy in this matter almost reaches superstition. They spit rarely and then only with great precautions. They never spit in the morning, unless it is well advanced, for some unexplainable reason."
He aslo had this to say, "When a Noble passes in front of their home, they invite him to eat and present him with a herb which they always chew and which takes the place of tobacco."

So please share you chew, but only if it's mahetok.

Bev said...

I'll just say that Betal nut stain is HARD to clean off of teeth. I just taught a fifth grade class and over half of them chew betal nut. When asked when they first started chewing betal nut they responded around the third grade! Which means we need to catch them as early as age 8. Its sad.

BoReGo said...

Patrickstar: please share more information and your references. What do you think about the different "recipes" for chewing nowadays?

Gus M. Kaipat said...

1. I am an occassional b-nut chewer. I picked it up from mommy before I stared going to school.
2. B-nut, leaf & lime - no tobacco.
3. I like the soft one because it has juice in it. It's sweet, and I enjoy sweet.
4. They keep Bev busy. LOL! :P