Friday, December 26, 2008

Do you celebrate Kwanzaa?

"The Seven Principles of Kwanzaa" by soulchristmas
Okay, Kwanzaa has always felt like a made up holiday to me. I mean, it is a made up holiday but it always felt like folks were trying too hard. It felt contrived. Maybe I just don't get it.

Nonetheless, I highly value the message behind Kwanzaa and think that as the boys get older, we may observe Kwanzaa.
(The Seven Principles)

Kwanzaa Symbol - Umoja (unity)
Umoja (Unity)
To strive for and maintain unity in the family, community, nation and race.
Kwanzaa symbol- Kujichagulia (self-determination
Kujichagulia (Self-Determination)
To define ourselves, name ourselves, create for ourselves and speak for ourselves.
Kwanzaa Symbol - Ujima (collective work and responsibility)
Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility)
To build and maintain our community together and make our brother's and sister's problems our problems and to solve them together.
Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics)
To build and maintain our own stores, shops and other businesses and to profit from them together.
Kwanzaa symbols - Nia (purpose)
Nia (Purpose)
To make our collective vocation the building and developing of our community in order to restore our people to their traditional greatness.
Kwanzaa symbol - Kuumba (Creativity)
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.
Kwanzaa symbol - Imani (faith)
Imani (Faith)
To believe with all our heart in our people, our parents, our teachers, our leaders and the righteousness and victory of our struggle.

­ Maulana Karenga
From The official Kwanzaa website

There's one Kwanzaa celebration going on at the library next Monday. I'm going to take the Zs. I'm on the lookout for more, though.

What are your thoughts?? Do you celebrate Kwanzaa? How and why?


Revvy Rev said...

I don't celebrate Kwanzaa as a holiday, but I certainly ascribe to its superb principles and try to implement them in my life daily.

Anonymous said...

It is a good concept. However, we do not celebrate it, it lacks African spirituality. There are so many African holidays on the continent that we dont have to create new ones.

80sBaby70sSoul said...

I have issues with made up holidays but we did buy a Kwanzaa set last year and celebrated just the first day. I think its great for cultural and historical education, especially for children. It is definitely worth exploring.

Hagar's Daughter said...

Here is why I don't celebrate Kwanzaa:
"Okay, Kwanzaa has always felt like a made up holiday to me. I mean, it is a made up holiday but it always felt like folks were trying too hard. It felt contrived. Maybe I just don't get it."

I couldn't have said it better myself. If I had not grown up celebrating Christmas, I wouldn't celebrate it either - not as a "special" day. Like the Kwanzaa principles that I try to live daily, I try to live like it's Christmas everyday. I mean that I try to acknowledge Immanuel, God with us everyday. It's a daily journey and I do have my moments.

Anonymous said...

I keep wanting to celebrate it but like others have expressed it simply seems too made up and in the age of inclusion, it feels like its being shoved down our throats.

Its like folks assume that because you are Black, you celebrate Kwanzaa. Good principals, but IMO better if you live every day thinking about them.

chioma said...

hello chichi saw ur comments on my blog...thanks for dropping in..i have not been to frequent but will improve in the new year..I agree kwanzaa is totally made up..but if it makes people happy then they should enjoy it.God bless u dear,...its amazing how we have so much in common..i too have natural hair..and in naija thats a rarity! i wish i could have had my kids at home..maybe I will have a homebirth for my

Just Me said...

I don't. I guess I too feel that it has a bit of a made up feel to it. Plus, I'm Catholic so Christmas is pretty big to us...and I have to be honest and say I don't have the energy to do one more thing during this season, lol.

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