Umyuaqanka qanruyutenka … I remember my counsel

by Elena Aluskak

Umyuaqaqa aanama inerqulallra cenirtaaresqevkenii – I remember my mom’s admonishment on “going house to house” known today as “visiting” (notice how the latter seems to make it very ok).

She would talk about the many things that could be the result; how I might be blamed for something I did not do because I was there. How I might be hurt in a way I do not like; on my body or character. How people may talk about me being that person who is known to be ‘here and there’. How I could learn to be disrespectful and ‘rootless’; can’t stay home and learn to be uncomfortable around my own family. How I could learn negative talk. How I could learn negative behaviors and action, etc.

And then, she “repeated” her words to me once I had my own kids. She’d say, “Irniaten cenirtaarut’laryaqunaki atam takairutniartut,” – don’t bring your children house-to-house, they will become disrespectful. They will become unruly and begin to embarrass you with their actions and words even in a public place. They might become unsettled, rootless and begin to be uncomfortable in their own home.

And then she’d also add, don’t give them permission to sleep over in other homes especially those that are not immediate family; they might be abused physically, mentally, sexually or spiritually and as a result their future may be negatively affected. They might be blamed for something they did not do or say and be put in a situation where they feel no longer worthy…

Umyuaqaqa aanama alerqulallra eneka menuicesqumaluku – I remember my mom’s advice on keeping my home clean. She’d say, “Enen carrirturluku, kenugqurluku cat-llu neqallret paivmi uitavkarpeknaki, cat-llu qaingit perrirturluki tangniicetevkenaki,” – keep your home clean, tidy up and put food away, and always wipe down surfaces.

She said by keeping our home clean, it shows foremost our gratefulness to the Giver. And that it prevents the inhabitants from getting or passing sicknesses. She’d say a clean home provides comfort and serenity to those who live in it – and by doing so, will teach everyone in the home about hygiene and cleanliness; physically and spiritually. A great way to be healthy overall.

Umyuaqaqa aanama alerqulallra ca tamalkuan umyuarcirluku pisqellua – I remember my mom’s advice to put careful consideration to everything (and anything). She said everything and anything has its own positive or negative influences, effects, etc. and if we make a move without thinking, we may just put ourselves in a spot where we don’t want to be. She’d say, think before you talk, consider the outcome before you talk; see if it would offend you if someone said it to you, or if it even makes sense.

She would also say, before you act; take a moment to give it a thought – if it is going to have a positive outcome – by all means, do it, but if the outcome is not going to be helpful … don’t do it. And if you find yourself already in that spot where you should not be, get out of it and don’t look back but learn from it and advise it to others what it was like for you and on the same note – share about how it is to be in a ‘good’ place.

Umyuaqaqa aanama inerqulallra pitsaqevkenii nunakenrilkemnun ugeskuma calligtaaresqevkenii – I remember my mom’s advice on if by chance I step foot to another place other than my hometown to not roam around. She’d say, you might put yourself in danger if you don’t know the people or if you don’t understand how that place functions and responds to certain events; you can be ridiculed and scorned for acting or behaving in a way that is not acceptable or recognized by them. You might present yourself unknowingly as a target for someone who can harm you. You may get robbed. You might be the blame for something you didn’t do. And she’d say to stay with the same group of people I traveled with – that it is better to be a group than as one. Hmmm, for someone who has not really been out of her ‘territory’ (with the exception of medical visits) that is a lot of wisdom and truth to pass onto me.

Umyuaqelaranka aanama qanruyutai … elpet-mi – I remember my mom’s counsel…what about you?

Maa-i-rpak-llu tuarr’ cakneq atungkenka mat’um nalliini … and it seems like I am really putting them into practice during this time.

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