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Planet Kyle: Who’s Your Pari?

catholic baby baptism guam

By Kyle Mandapat

Hafa Adai and what’s up! Hope everything is going well for you and I hope you had an awesome summer! I hope you had a chance to check out the Liberation Day Carnival I was raving about and I hope the sun wasn’t too harsh on you if you made it to the parade.

This month in the Planet Kyle’s “Welcome to Guam,” we take a look at the term pari’. A simple enough single syllable word, but what could it mean? Has someone called you pari’ lately? Why? Welllll… let’s see…

The use of this word goes back to the religious depth of the catholics of Guam. Growing up, I remember the word being thrown around quite frequently. Honestly, my Uncle Mark can throw this out at least forty times in an hour if he’s at the right party.

A pari’ or kumpaire’ is the father of one of your godchildren. The word kumparie comes from the Spanish word compadre. In the Catholic sense, when babies are baptized they are baptized by their parents and a set of godparents whom are supposed to help the parents raise the child in the most Catholic ways. The children call their godfather “Nino” and their godmother, “Nina” and the respective parents refer to each other as either mali’ (for the women) or pari’ (for the dudes).

Nowadays things have evolved a bit. From what I can tell, the term has taken on more of a title in everyday life. I don’t have any godchildren on Guam — they all moved to the mainland — but I still call at least three to four people “par” on the normal. A good amount of people, myself included, call people “par” as a term of friendship, like “buddy” or “pal” except not so… Beaver Cleaver.

The term still holds a great deal of weight when talking with the parents of your godchildren and so on, but has also been added to the everyday lingo of the people of Guam. Next time you make a friend that you would trust with the spiritual well being of your next child, feel free to let it flow, forget calling them “Randall,” and just call them your par.

You can read more about pari’ and tons of other interesting facts about Chamorro culture on Guampedia.

Hope this helps with any questions you may have. If you have any questions for me, please feel free to yell for me on Facebook or Twitter @kylemandapat or email me at Kyle@power98.com! Until next month, have fun, be safe and hear you on the radio!

Kyle Mandapat

About Kyle

Since his stage debut in 2006, Kyle Mandapat has been on the move with no plans of slowing down. Starting off in the entertainment scene on Guam as a Stand Up Comic, Kyle headlined over 20 locally sponsored comedy shows. It was his comedy show performances that lead to him being cast in the Fox6 Guam show, “The Buzz” where he started as an “On the Street” correspondent and later progressed to the co-host spot. In October of 2007, Kyle was introduced to radio audiences on Guam as an extra member of the Power 98 Morning Show. Kyle is currently a co-host on the rebranded morning show, “The Morning Blender with Kai and Kyle.”

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