December 20, 2008

kwanzaa, a celebration of family, community and culture

We sometimes need to be reminded that Christmas is not the only holiday that occurs at this time of the year. We all bring from our various roots, celebrations and activities that honor our history, ancestors and religions.

One such celebration is Kwanzaa, the seven days starting December 26th which highlight the seven principles important to those us who are of African descent.

Those seven principles are:
Umoja – unity, of family, community, nation and race
Kujichagulia – speaks to self-determination
Ujima – collective work and responsibility to build and maintain our community
Ujamaa – cooperative economics as a means of building our businesses
Nia – purpose, a collective vocation to build and develop our community
Kuumba – creativity, to do as much and in any way we can to leave our community more beautiful than we inherited it
Imani – faith in our people, our parents, teachers and leaders and in the righteousness of our struggle.

Besides those seven principles, the symbols that mark our celebrations include crops, the mat, kinara (candle holder), seven candles, corn, unity cup, gifts (called zawadi), kwanzaa flag and poster.

Kwanzaa speaks to creativity, to community building, to business development, commitment and faith – and so does etsy.

These stockings from vyphuisdesigns are a perfect celebration of Kwanzaa

3 comments:

Jess said...

That was informative... Nice to read a bit about the actual culture behind Kwanzaa, especially when that gets lost in the whole Christmas frenzy a lot of the time..

vyphuisdesigns said...

Thanks jess. Of course that was only a tiny snippet.

May Luk Ceramics said...

Thanks for the informative post. Happy holidays!