Wishing You a Safe & Happy Kwanzaa!

Happy Kwanzaa from our family to yours

Kwanzaa Celebrations are commencing and is a celebration of family, community and culture.  This joyous holiday began on December 26 and will carry on until the 1st of January. As an African American and Pan-African holiday celebrated by millions throughout the world African community, Kwanzaa brings a cultural message which speaks to the best of what it means to be African and human in the fullest sense.

This year, the theme of the holiday is “Practicing the Culture of Kwanzaa: Living the Seven Principles.” This celebration acts as a cultural message, striving to describe what it means to be an African human. By looking back at the origin, concepts, values, practice, and symbols of the holiday, the African community comes together to celebrate their union as one.

The greetings during Kwanzaa are in Swahili. Swahili is a Pan-African language and is chosen to reflect African Americans’ commitment to the whole of Africa and African culture rather than to a specific ethnic or national group or culture. The greetings are to reinforce awareness of and commitment to the Seven Principles.

It is: “Habari gani?” and the answer is each of the principles for each of the days of Kwanzaa, i.e., “Umoja”, on the first day, “Kujichagulia”, on the second day and so on as we detail a little later in this blog post.

Gifts are given mainly to children, but must always include a book and a heritage symbol. The book is to emphasize the African value and tradition of learning stressed since ancient Egypt, and the heritage symbol to reaffirm and reinforce the African commitment to tradition and history.

The colors of Kwanzaa are black, red and green as noted and can be utilized in decorations for Kwanzaa. Also decorations should include traditional African items, i.e., African baskets, cloth patterns, art objects, harvest symbols, etc.

“Practicing the Culture of Kwanzaa: Living the Seven Principles”

  1. Umoja or Unity
  2. Kujichagulia or Self-Determination
  3. Ujima or Collective Work and Responsibility
  4. Ujamaa or Cooperative Economics
  5. Nia or Purpose
  6. Kuumba or Creativity
  7. Imani or Faith

Whether you are celebrating Kwanzaa this year or not, we can all learn a little from following these seven universal principles. Faith, creativity, purpose, cooperative economics, self-determinations, collective work, responsibility, and unity are all values we should hold as humans.

Wishing you a safe and Happy Kwanzaa. To catch up on the latest from The Maria Sanchez Show, download the latest podcast today.

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