Sunday, December 26, 2010

Habari Gani?......Umoja!

Happy Sunday and Thanks for stopping by...

One of my favorite sites Scraps of Color E:spire is having a Seven days of Kwanzaa GREAT KWANZAA GIVE AWAY! If you want to win some cool crafting papers, embellishments or stamps just visit the Scraps of color E:spire site and follow the instructions. The contest runs for seven days, so don't miss out. You never know, you could be a big Kwanzaa WINNER!

In addition to celebrating Christmas, our family celebrates the African American holiday, Kwanzaa. Kwanzaa is a seven day celebration that does not focus on any one religion or any one hero, but on our culture and community as a whole. Kwanzaa is centered around seven principles that we can live by to make our families, communities and selves stronger and better. The seven principles are given to us in Swahili; Umoja (ooo-moe'-jah) "Unity" is the first principle. Umoja means "to strive for unity in our family, community, nation and race". Unity is truly the first step in making any lasting changes.

When we greet each other during the seven days of Kwanzaa we say "Habari gani"? (hah-bar-ee-gahn-nee) which means "What's the news"? or "What's going on"? We respond by saying the principle for that day. Since today is day one we would respond by guessed it....UMOJA!

My family has been celebrating Kwanzaa for over 12 years. For several years my husband and I hosted a Kuumba (Creativity) Cultural Arts Camp for children. The camp would run for two weeks, during the Christmas break. We taught the seven principles through dance, dance, music and visual arts crafts. Each year the children from our camp were invited to present what they learned at the city-wide Kwanzaa celebration. It was such an honor to work with such beautiful, intelligent young people. My husband and I didn't really do anything for the program except show up. The young people did everything. They set the Kwanzaa table, lit the candles, danced, sang all the songs, and performed the short plays. It was amazing! Some of our former campers are grown-ups now, with their own families; celebrating Kwanzaa in their own way.

We didn't get to go to the Kwanzaa celebration tonight because the weather is quite snowy and frosty here in Charlotte. But we still lit our first candle at home and talked about ways we could work together with more unity in our family and the community....good stuff!

I'll be making some Kwanzaa crafts with my boys, this week. I'll share them soon!

Thanks for stopping by!
See you next time...

1 comment:

  1. Congrats on the win, Kami! Hope you and your family are enjoying the 2nd day of Kwanzaa!