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Friday, 03 January 2014 07:23

Kwanzaa

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Kwanzaa is a seven-day holiday that is celebrated throughout the world as an alternative to the various religious holidays, to honour African heritage, family, community and culture.  Kwanzaa was created by Maulana Karenga and was first celebrated in December 1966. 

During the holidays there are activities such as candle lighting, libations (ritual pouring of drinks to the gods) and on the last day a feast and gift giving. 

There are seven principles of Kwanzaa or being black that are celebrated, namely

 

  • Umoja (Unity).  This represents a striving for unity in the family, community, nation and race.
  • Kujichagulia (Self-Determination).  This refers to the practice of defining ourselves, naming ourselves, creating for ourselves and speaking for ourselves.
  • Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility).  This is about building and maintaining the community together and adopt the problems of others and solve them together.
  • Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics).  To build and maintain their own stores, shops and other businesses and to profit from them together.
  • Nia (Purpose).  To make their collective vocation the building and developing of a community in order to restore the black people to their traditional greatness.
  • Kuumba (Creativity).  To do always as much as they can, in any way they can, to leave their community more beautiful and beneficial than they inherited it.
  • Imani (Faith).  To believe with all their heart in their people, parents, teachers, leaders and the righteousness and victory of their struggle.
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Elsabe Smit

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