Calls attention to Kwanzaa
Published 4:08 pm, Wednesday, December 19, 2012
To the Editor:
Celebrated from Dec. 26 through Jan. 1, Kwanzaa is a uniquely African-American holiday begun in Los Angeles by Dr. Maulana Karenga, the chairman of the black studies department at the University of California.
"Kwanzaa" is adopted from the Iskwahili words Matunda Ya Kwanza, meaning "first fruits," acknowledging its roots in the traditional harvest celebration in Africa.
It is a non-political, nonreligious, nonhistoric holiday meant to emphasize the connection with African culture while recognizing the unique history of African-Americans.
Every aspect of Kwanzaa is imbued with ritual meaning.
The holiday takes place over seven days, seven symbols are used to represent its tenets, and the holiday is ordered by the Nguzo Saba, or seven principles.