Saturday, December 26, 2009

To those who celebrate- Kwanzaa yenu iwe na heri- Happy Kwanzaa- Archive 2008

The word "Kwanzaa" comes from the phrase, "matunda ya kwanza" which means "first-fruits." .Kwanzaa was founded in America in 1966 by Dr. Maulana Karenga during the height of the Black Freedom Movement. The core of Kwanzaa comes from the ancient first-fruits celebrations in Africa. Most "harvest" celebrations in Africa last seven days.

Kwanzaa is celebrated in America and some parts of Canada and Europe as recognized communal celebration was designed to pay ancestral recognition, strengthen, and unite African/Black American people in the U.S. with the Diaspora and Africa.
There are some special greetings in used during the Kwanzaa celebration. These greetings are spoken in Swahili. Dr. Karenga chose Swahili as to remind African/Black Americans that all of Africa is their ancestral land, not just one part of the country.

The phrase "Habari gani?"(hah-BAR-ee GAH-nee) not only serve as a way of saying hello but as a daily question in which the answer is each of the principles for each of the days of Kwanzaa. For example; "Umoja" for the first day, "Kujichagulia" for the second day.... etc.

Seven Principles, nguzo saba (in-GOO-zoh SAH-bah)

Dec.26th -Umoja (Unity)(oo-MOW-jah) means unity.
desired actions maintain/build unity in the family, community, nationally and racially.

Dec. 27th - Kujichagulia (koo-jee-chah-GOO-lee-ah) means self-determination.
desired action: self recognition of strengths and weakness, with the determination to improve or maintain ones productivity and contributions to society.

Dec. 28th - Ujima (oo-JEE-mah) (Collective Work and Responsibility)
desired action: to build and maintain community relation as a WHOLE and work together to solve your family/community neighbors problems.

Dec. 29th- Ujamaa (oo-JAH-mah)(Cooperative Economics)
desired action- helping build and maintain profits and entrepreneurship, and economic self-sufficiency within the community.

Dec.30th -Nia (NEE-ah)(Purpose)
desired action: to help build and develop the Pan-African community to restore pride and tradition of African culture.

Dec.31st- Kuumba (koo-OOM-bah) (Creativity)
desired action: in homage of our earth Mother. to do as much possible, in up keeping and improving the community to make it as beautiful and environmental sound as it was naturally intended. This can also be expressed through artisan(handmade) crafts and inventions.

Jan. 1st- Imani (ee-MAH-nee)(Faith)
To believe in ourselves, our people and have faith in righteousness and peace will come claim victory for the world. This is also The Day of Meditation (Siku ya Taamuli)

The last day of Kwanzaa is the first day of the new year, January 1. This has been documented as a tradition for some African cultures as a time of deep self-assessment of things ones accomplishments, preparation for future goals, and prayers for peace and healing of unamended issues.

The Symbols of Kwanzaa
Kwanzaa has seven basic symbols and two supplemental ones. Each symbolizes traditional values and concepts reflective of African culture.

(The Harvest Crops) Symbol's of the abundant African as reward for productivity and collective labor.

(The Mat) Symbolic of African tradition and history.

(The Candle Holder) Symbolic of our roots, and the ever-living light of our
ancestral people.

(The Corn) Symbolic of the sweetness of future, the fruits of our labor, our children.

(The Seven Candles) Symbolic of the Nguzo Saba, the Seven Principles, which African people are urged to live by not just for Kwanzaa but in their everyday lives.

Kikombe cha Umoja (The Unity Cup) Symbolic of the founding principle (Unity) and reminder of daily practice of this principle.

(The Gifts) Symbolic of the love of parents and commitments made and kept by the children.

What do the colors mean??
The colors of the Kwanzaa flag are the black, red and green:

for the African people and its descendants

for a reminder of the blood shed in sacrifice for freedom.

for the homeland and mother earth.
These colors are commonly used as the national colors for African people descendants throughout the world.

I wanted to post this for those who celebrate Kwanzaa and for those who have ever wondered, what the heck is Kwanzaa:)

We celebrate kwanzaa in our home and would like to extend peaceful and warm wishes to all this holiday season. I hope to share so pic of our celebration soon:)

Be Well,



CT said...

Thanks for the post Ny! Hope you and your family are enjoying every minute of this beautiful holiday season. Hope, Love and Peace. - CT

esque said...

Interesting post! Thanks for sharing!

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