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Kwanzaa Stories

Happy KwanzzaWill and Guy Take A Look At Kwanzaa

The fastest growing festival, Kwanzaa: December 26th to January 1st.

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Kwanzaa - African-Amercian HolidayHappy Kwanzza

Kwanzaa, is an African-American celebration of cultural reaffirmation, and is one of the fastest-growing holidays in the history of the world.

Kwanzaa, which can also be spelt Kwaanza, is a week-long secular holiday that celebrates African American heritage.  Each year it is celebrated from December 26th to January 1st.  It took root 30 years ago, when graduate student Maulana Karenga, disturbed by the 1965 riots in Los Angeles, Watts area, decided that African-Americans needed an annual event to celebrate their differences rather than the melting pot.

Principles of Kwanzaa

Kwanzaa celebrates what its founder called the seven principles of Kwanzaa, or Nguzo Saba [originally Nguzu Saba - the seven principles of blackness], which Karenga said, 'is a communitarian African philosophy,' consisting of what Karenga called 'the best of African thought and practice in constant exchange with the world.'

These seven principles comprise Kawaida, a Swahili term for tradition and reason.

Each of the seven days of Kwanzaa is dedicated to one of the following principles, as follows:

Umoja: Unity stresses the importance of togetherness for the family and the community, which is reflected in the African saying, "I am We," or "I am because We are."

Kujichagulia: Self-Determination requires that we define our common interests and make decisions that are in the best interest of our family and community. Happy Kwanzza

Ujima: Collective Work and Responsibility reminds us of our obligation to the past, present and future, and that we have a role to play in the community, society, and world.

Ujamaa: Cooperative economics emphasizes our collective economic strength and encourages us to meet common needs through mutual support.

Nia: Purpose encourages us to look within ourselves and to set personal goals that are beneficial to the community.

Kuumba: Creativity makes use of our creative energies to build and maintain a strong and vibrant community.

Imani: Faith focuses on honouring the best of our traditions, draws upon the best in ourselves, and helps us strive for a higher level of life for humankind, by affirming our self-worth and confidence in our ability to succeed and triumph in righteous struggle.

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The Mishumaa Saba

Mishumaa Saba

The Season of KwanzaaHappy Kwanzza

Kwanzaa Celebrations Include

Families celebrating Kwanzaa decorate their households with objects of art; colourful African cloth such as *kente, especially the wearing of kaftans by women; and fresh fruits that represent African idealism.

*Kente cloth from Ghana. West Africa

It is customary, Will and Guy have been told, to include children in Kwanzaa ceremonies and to give respect and gratitude to ancestors. Libations [drinks] are shared, generally with a common chalice.Happy Kwanzza

A Kwanzaa ceremony may include, say Will and Guy, drumming and musical selections, libations, a reading of the African Pledge and the Principles of Blackness, reflection on the Pan-African colours, a discussion of the African principle of the day or a chapter in African history, a candle-lighting ritual, artistic performance, and, finally, a feast [*Karamu].

*A karamu is a feast that takes place on December 31st , the sixth day of the Kwanzaa period.

The greeting for each day of Kwanzaa is Habari Gani? which is Swahili for "What's the News?"

An Alternative and Funny Look At Festivals

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Continuing the current trend of large-scale mergers and acquisitions, it was announced today at a press conference that Christmas and Hanukkah will merge. An industry source told Will and Guy that the deal had been in the works for about 1300 years.

While details were not available at the time of writing, it is believed that the overhead cost of having twelve days of Christmas and eight days of Hanukkah was becoming prohibitive for both sides. By combining forces, we're told, the world will be able to enjoy consistently high-quality service during the Fifteen Days of Chrismukah, as the new holiday is being called.

Massive layoffs are expected, with lords a-leaping and maids a-milking being the hardest hit. As part of the conditions of the agreement, the letters on the dreidel currently in Hebrew, will be replaced by Latin, thus becoming completely unintelligible to a wider audience.

 

Also, instead of translating to "A great miracle happened there," the message on the dreidel will be the more generic "Miraculous stuff happens." In exchange, it is believed that Jews will be allowed to use Santa Claus and his vast merchandising resources for buying and delivering their gifts.

One of the sticking points holding up the agreement for at least three hundred years was the question of whether Jewish children could leave milk and cookies for Santa even after having eaten meat for dinner. A breakthrough came last year, when Oreos were finally declared to be Kosher. All sides appeared happy about this.

A spokesman for Christmas, Inc., declined to say whether a takeover of Kwanzaa might not be in the works as well. He merely pointed out that, were it not for the independent existence of Kwanzaa, the merger between Christmas and Chanukah might indeed be seen as an unfair cornering of the holiday market. Fortunately for

all concerned, he said, Kwanzaa will help to maintain the competitive balance. He then closed the press conference by leading all present in a rousing rendition of "Oy Vey, All Ye Faithful."

Will and Guy Wish You A Happy Kwanzaa

Happy Kwanzza

 

Footnote

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