Friday, December 26, 2008


"Kwanzaa is a celebration of family, community and culture, for repairing and renewing the world", according to its founder, Dr. Maulana Karenga. It is celebrated starting on December 26th, until January 1st.

There are seven principles of Kwanzaa. I think we can all agree that these are fine, strong principles, and those who try to live by them are fine people.

Listed first in Swahili and then in English, the Seven Principles are:

Umoja (Unity) - of family, community, nation and race.

Kujichagulia (Self-determination) - to define ourselves, name ourselves, create for ourselves and speak for ourselves.

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.

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

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

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.

Imani (Faith) - to believe with all our heart in our people, our parents, our teachers, our leaders and the righteousness and the victory of our struggle.

- Maulana Karenga



Sylvia K said...

Beautiful words, thoughts and hopes, that we can all learn from, that we can all practice. And how wonderful to see what results we can bring! Thank you for posting this! Hope you've had a great holiday!

Sylvia K said...

What beautiful words, thoughts and actions! And what a wonderful world we could help create. Thank you for posting this! Hope you've had a good holiday.

Kay said...

I haven't taught this in such a long time. Thank you for this wonderful post. It's such a lovely celebration.

Lisa said...

And if we all keep it in the back of our minds as we go through our days, the world is a better place...

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas, Bobbie. Peace and love to you. I think about you often. I think of you, your life, your shining spirit, and know that it's possible to be whole and well again.

Anonymous said...

Very nice post, I appreciated learning all that. And what a lovely manguage!

storyteller said...

Thanks for sharing this information today. I feel enlightening and agree with Sylvia ... practicing these seven principles could benefit everyone and our shared worlds.
Hugs and blessings,

Unknown said...

I've always thought that Kwanzaa was a wonderful holiday, based on universally sound, just and loving principles. Thanks for this post, Bobbie.

Dianne said...

I love how you have covered each holiday so beautifully, thank you

Daryl said...

Happy belated Kwanza to all who celebrate

There's something to be said about the candle holder for Kwanza vs the menorah I have .. the heat from the other candles makes the 'main' candle burn faster .. its behind them .. and it ends up dripping all over the mantle ..


maryt/theteach said...

Thanks bobbie, for the Kwanzaa post and all the info. I love to learn about all cultural holidays! :)