Thursday, December 27, 2007

Kwanzaa 101 2007

Hetep and Respect every holiday is a Cultural Health opportunity. If you have never seen the seven principles of Kwanzaa take a look. If you have seen them and need a refresher here it is. One of the nice things about the holidays is that we get a chance to learn about each others holidays.

Kwanzaa is the most widely celebrated original African American holiday. “The Father of Kwanzaa” is Maulana Ron Karenga, an African American scholar and social activist. The celebration runs from December 26 to January 1. Kwanzaa (First Fruits Festival) is in the best spirit of Cultural Literacy in that it is a synchronization of African values at home and abroad. This remarkable blend of African and African American values is a major force in the fight to improve Cultural Health in our community by raising Cultural Literacy and reducing Cultural Poisoning here in America

Kwanzaa is anchored by its seven guiding principles, known as the Nguzo Saba. Each principle is denoted by one word from the pan African language known as Swali, as reproduced below. I have added the pronunciation.

Nguzo Saba (The Seven Principles)

1.UMOJA (Unity) [oo-MO-jah]
To strive for and maintain unity in the family, community, nation and ethnic group.

2.KUJICHAGULIA (Self-determination) [koo-jee-cha-goo-LEE-ah]
To define ourselves, name ourselves, create for ourselves and speak for ourselves instead of being defined, named, created for and spoken for by others.

3.UJIMA (Collective Work and Responsibility) [oo-JEE-mah]
To Build and maintain our community together and make our sister's and brother's problems our problems and to solve them together.

4.UJAMAA (Cooperative Economics) [oo-jah-MAH]
To Build and maintain our own stores, shops and other businesses and to profit from them together.

5.NIA (Purpose) [NEE-ah]
To make our collective vocation the building and developing of our community in order to restore our people to their traditional greatness.

6. KUUMBA (Creativity) [koo-OOM-bah]
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.

7.IMANI (Faith) [ee-MAH-nee]
To believe with all our hart in our people, our parents, our teachers, our leaders and the righteousness and victory of our struggle.

Maulana Ron Karenga

Note: In the interest of Cultural Health, the word "race" has been changed to ethnic group in the first principle ("race" is a doublespeak word).

1 comment:

Aunk said...

Habari Gani - Day One


Cultural Literacy Minute: Swahili call and response greeting; Call - Habari Gani (what’s the news), respond with the name of the day e.g. Umoja, Kujichagulia, Ujima, etc.

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