The traditional greetings during this time are spoken in Swahili in order to reflect committment to the African culture as a whole. A different principle and a different symbol are celebrated during each day of the festivity. Each day the question is asked--Habari gani? Each day the answer is different based on the seven principles which are founded on a set of ideals created by Dr. Maulana Karenga in the mid 1960's which is when this cultural celebration began.
The seven principles are:
- Unity: Umoja (oo–MO–jah)
- Self-determination: Kujichagulia (koo–gee–cha–goo–LEE–yah)
- Collective Work and Responsibility: Ujima (oo–GEE–mah)
- Cooperative Economics: Ujamaa (oo–JAH–mah)
- Purpose: Nia (nee–YAH)
- Creativity: Kuumba (koo–OOM–bah)
- Faith: Imani (ee–MAH–nee)
- Mazao (Crops)
- Mkeka (Place Mat)
- Kinara (Candle holder)
- Vibunzi (Ear of Corn)
- Muhindi (Gifts)
- Kikombe cha Umoja (Unity cup)
- Mishumaa SAba ( Seven Candles)
In honour of this celebration I have created the following image:
Wishing you and your family peace and blessings in the new year.
The countdown to the new year continues...
Until next time,
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Author Unknown. (1996-2012). Kwanzaa. Available: http://www.history.com/topics/kwanzaa-history. Last accessed 21th December 2012.
Author Unknown. (unknown). Kwanzaa Greetings. Available: http://www.shape.org/kwanzaagreetings.html. Last accessed 10th December 2012.
Author Unknown. (1998-2004). What is Kwanzaa?. Available: http://www.kwanzaaland.com/generalinfo/. Last accessed 10th December 2012.
Williams, Nancy. (2000). Forum Topic: Kwanzaa - What is the proper greeting during this holiday?. Available: http://melanet.com/uncut/forums/messages/23/923.html?TuesdayJuly1020010258am. Last accessed 10th December 2012.