Kwanzaa

Although it’s been around for quite a while, our ESL students have been asking around Hancock International College about Kwanzaa. Here is a short history of this unique African American tradition.

Infoplease.com says, “The year 2016 will see the 50th annual Kwanzaa, the African American holiday celebrated from December 26 to January 1. It is estimated that some 18 million African Americans take part in Kwanzaa. Kwanzaa is not a religious holiday, nor is it meant to replace Christmas. It was created by Dr. Maulana “Ron” Karenga, a professor of Black Studies, in 1966. At this time of great social change for African Americans, Karenga sought to design a celebration that would honor the values of African cultures and inspire African Americans who were working for progress.

Kwanzaa is based on the year-end harvest festivals that have taken place throughout Africa for thousands of years. The name comes from the Swahili phrase “matunda ya kwanza,” which means “first fruits of the harvest.” Karenga chose a phrase from Swahili because the language is used by various peoples throughout Africa.

The Seven Principles (Nguzo Saba)

Each of the seven days of Kwanzaa honors a different principle. These principles are believed to have been key to building strong, productive families and communities in Africa. During Kwanzaa, celebrants greet each other with “Habari gani,” or “What’s the news?” The principles of Kwanzaa form the answers.”

Full Article: https://www.infoplease.com/calendar-holidays/major-holidays/kwanzaa

Idiom of the Day

Unite with Someone

Meaning: To join with someone; to go or come together with someone.

Example: I was pleased to unite with my family for the holidays.