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What Does Kwanzaa Mean? Do You Celebrate It?

The name Kwanzaa is taken from the Swahili phrase "matunda ya kwanza", meaning "first fruits". It is an annual week-long celebration that honors the history and culture of Black people. However, Kwanzaa does not discriminate. Just like Cinco de Mayo; it can be celebrated by non-blacks.

It was created by activist Maulana Karenga, based on African harvest festival traditions from different parts of West and Southeast Africa. Kwanzaa was first celebrated in 1966; during the aftermath of the Watts riots as a holiday specifically for African-American.

Kwanzaa celebrates seven values in African culture: unity, self-determination, collective responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity and faith. It's a non-religious cultural celebration, but you can't deny that a spiritual sense surrounds it.

26th - Umoja (Unity): To strive for and to maintain unity in the family and community.

27th - Kujichagulia (Self-determination): To define and name ourselves, as well as to create and speak for ourselves.

28th - Ujima (Collective work and responsibility): To build and maintain our community together and make our brothers' and sisters' problems our problems and to solve them together.

29th - Ujamaa (Cooperative economics): To build and maintain our own stores, shops, and other businesses and to profit from them together.

30th - Nia (Purpose): To make our collective vocation the building and developing of our community in order to restore our people to their traditional greatness.

31st - Kuumba (Creativity): To do always as much as we can, in the way we can, in order to leave our community more beautiful and beneficial than we inherited it.

1st - Imani (Faith): To believe with all our hearts in our people, our parents, our teachers, our leaders, and the righteousness and victory of our struggle.

I've celebrated Kwanzaa with family members and friends in the past. Of course, over time the celebration ceased. I attempted to celebrate independently, but it didn't feel the same. I understand and agree with the concept and thought behind it. However, do you all agree that the Word of God teaches us all of these things?

Do you celebrate Kwanzaa?

Reference: Wikipedia


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