Thursday, December 27, 2012

Holiday Handout: Day 18

Today's holiday handout is respective of any of you out there who might celebrate Kwanzaa.  Kwanzaa is a week long cultural celebration observed from December 26 to January 1 each year by people of African heritage.

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:

  1. Unity: Umoja (oo–MO–jah)
  2. Self-determination: Kujichagulia (koo–gee–cha–goo–LEE–yah)
  3. Collective Work and Responsibility: Ujima (oo–GEE–mah)
  4. Cooperative Economics: Ujamaa (oo–JAH–mah)
  5. Purpose: Nia (nee–YAH)
  6. Creativity: Kuumba (koo–OOM–bah)
  7. Faith: Imani (ee–MAH–nee)
The seven basic symbols are:
  1. Mazao (Crops)
  2. Mkeka (Place Mat)
  3. Kinara (Candle holder)
  4. Vibunzi (Ear of Corn)
  5. Muhindi (Gifts)
  6. Kikombe cha Umoja (Unity cup)
  7. 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: Last accessed 21th December 2012.

Author Unknown. (unknown). Kwanzaa Greetings. Available: Last accessed 10th December 2012.

Author Unknown. (1998-2004). What is Kwanzaa?. Available: Last accessed 10th December 2012.

Williams, Nancy. (2000). Forum Topic: Kwanzaa - What is the proper greeting during this holiday?. Available: Last accessed 10th December 2012.

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