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~ Kwanzaa Traditions ~

Kwanzaa
habari

The greetings during Kwanzaa are in Swahili. Swahili is a Pan-African language and is chosen to reflect African Americans' commitment to the whole of Africa and African culture rather than to a specific ethnic or national group or culture. The greetings are to reinforce awareness of and commitment to the Seven Principles. It is: "Habari gani?" and the answer is each of the principles for each of the days of Kwanzaa, i.e., "Umoja", on the first day, "Kujichagulia", on the second day and so on.

Gifts are given mainly to children, but must always include a book and a heritage symbol. The book is to emphasize the African value and tradition of learning stressed since ancient Egypt, and the heritage symbol to reaffirm and reinforce the African commitment to tradition and history.

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Kwanzaa celebrants spend their seven-day festivities preparing for the final feast, or "karumu," on December 31. This culminating spread of good food and fun includes African-inspired cuisine and ceremony.

The karumu room or venue might be decorated in the colors of black unity: red, black, and green. And the holiday table originally outlined by creator Maulana Karenga should include seven symbolic items:

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a straw placemat a holder for seven candles
the candles a variety of fruit

an ear of corn for each child in the home

a unity cup

and modest gifts

Who better to teach us about Kwanzaa than a child? Straight from Sesame Street!
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THE OFFICIAL KWANZAA WEB SITE
http://www.officialkwanzaawebsite.org/

Kwanzaa Heritage
http://www.kwanzaaheritage.org/

Folk Stories for Kwanza
THE WISDOM OF AFRICAN MYTHOLOGY

http://www.abcinfo.com/africax.htm

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Kwanzaa home | The Origins of Kwanzaa | Kwanzaa Traditions | Recipes

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