8 Story 2 : Ibau Days after marriage, and Palauan customs I married my husband when I was nineteen. He was one year older, from my neighboring hamlet. When we were children we knew each other, but when we grew up, we did not see one another for a while. But when we met again in our adolescence, we decided to get married. His name was Ngiraingas Oiterong. When we were young, young men belonged to the Seinen-dang (Young Men s Association). My husband was a member, and before the sports competition, they stayed in a bai (meeting house) to prepare. They stayed in the bai for about three months, and their wives brought food. It was hard but I felt that it was for the community. When I was young, we had mesei (taro-patches) but we did not have sers (gardens for tapioca and other plants). Tapioca was only introduced to Palau in the German period. When I was young, it was still not common to raise tapioca. Chemutii (sweet potato) was also introduced from somewhere else. Rice was introduced in the Japanese time. When we had money, we bought a straw rice bag. But when we did not have enough money, we bought only a small portion of rice from the store. At that time, our principal food was kukau (taro). These days, Palauan people mainly eat rice, and don t eat kukau as often as they used to. We also changed the dishes by introducing new ingredients. For example, when I was a child, we used to cook brak (giant taro) with syrup, mince it with a mincing machine, and pour coconut milk on it. We called this dish chelbakl. But when tapioca became popular, we started to make chelbakl with tapioca. These days, those who make chelbakl with brak are rare. I prefer brak (giant taro) to kukau (taro). Traditionally, kukau was a dish for the high-ranked people. We used to eat fish as odoim. 8) On special occasions such as the visit of a high-ranked person, we cooked wild chicken. When we had a party, we cooked a pig. Basically, cooking was the women s job, but the men cleaned the fish. My parents told me that when I visited another hamlet, I must act in their manner. Sometimes, we had different customs. Traditionally, we could travel in Palau without bringing food or money. Whether they knew me or not, they would feed me and let me stay in a bai without payment. Normally, there were two bai in a hamlet, one for the meetings of rubak (high-ranked men), and the other for general purposes. The latter was also used as guest house. This custom is fading now. These days, we need to pay for everything! In the old days, when young men from Ngeremlengui visited Koror, they stayed at a Koror bai. The men from Ngeremlengui offered their food to the young men in Koror, who offered the Ngeremlengui men their own food in return. This mutual help was very common in Palau. This custom is still active; if a Koror women s group visits another women s group in Aimeliik, they will take care of us. But generally, it is more common to stay at relatives houses.
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Gabon's opposition leader Jean Ping - who has said the election was "stolen" - called on "the international community to help the people of Gabon" he said, adding "Everybody knows the result and everybody knows that Bongo (pictured above) is doing everything not to accept it."