HO HO Ho  Merry Christmas or Not.  Hello All It's your girl JA Nursing here, Firstly I would like to  wish all my readers  Happy Holidays. Even thought I know that  every year at the beginning of December some people  engage in  ridiculous rituals that recycles different arguments about whether people should say to one another Happy Holidays or Merry Christmas. Let's start with the fact that there are several holidays that fall during December including Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Winter Solstice and a secular holiday  HumanLight  which is a Humanist holiday celebrated on December 23. All theses holidays and traditions deserve to be acknowledged and respected, specially  since our communities are   more religiously and culturally diverse than ever.  Most people  get “Merry Christmas,” though you’ll probably hear “Happy Hanukkah”, and yes,, “Happy Holidays”. But mention “Habari Gani” and you’re likely to get a very unseasonal awkward silence. “Habari Gani” is Swahili for “What's the News?” and it’s the customary greeting of Kwanzaa. As a Parent, and a Canadian I often wonder why Kwanzaa was never taught in school. I think that the principles of Kwanzaa is how I live my life daily and I feel that it should be exposed more in our communities.

SO WHAT'S THE NEWS? Most people know that Kwanzaa is a celebration of some sort; it takes place during the Christmas season, and it somehow involves black people—but other than that they are pretty clueless. The name “Kwanzaa” is actually a loose translation of the Swahili expression "matunda ya kwanza," or "first fruits of the harvest”—it’s based on the various harvest festivals that take place in Africa. Kwanzaa isn’t a religious holiday; it’s more of a cultural celebration running from December 26 to January 1. Contrary to popular belief it’s not meant to replace Christmas, Baby Jesus or Santa Claus—in fact most followers celebrate Kwanzaa alongside Christmas.

According to The Official Kwanzaa website, Kwanzaa  began in 1966 by Dr. Maulana Karenga. The 25-year-old professor and militant black activist created the holiday for African Americans and Pan Africans worldwide to celebrate family, community and culture.
The principles of Kwanzaa represent how I live my life  daily, and I think the 7 principles if taught early to children could foster different outcomes for many of our youths. Daily we hear  negative occurrences in our AFRICAN CARIBBEAN community being highlighted in the news. So I felt it important to search and find information on how this tradition is celebrated in my city. 
 In my search  I came across  an article on Yahoo News By Nisean Lorde   that gave me more information about  Kwanzaa.   Kudos to  Pat Howel a  award winning Community leader and  Founder of  the
MACCA    for keeping yearly celebrations for Kwanzaa as well as  The Harriet Tubman Community Organization and  A Organization  that I work closely with Young Potential Fathers   for their upcoming event December 26 2015  at  Ujima House which is a Kwanzaa principle that means Collective Work & Responsibility (To build and maintain our community .
Ujima House is community space located at the corner of Weston Rd & Lawrence , 1901 Weston Rd unit 18.

The year 2015 will see the 49th 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. A candle is lit on each day of Kwanzaa and each day is dedicated to one of the seven principles, which are meant to serve as fundamental values each family should adapt to in order to be healthy and happy:

The seven days of Kwanzaa (Nguzo Saba):
  1. Umoja: Unity - Unity of the family, community, nation and race
  2. Kujichagulia: Self-Determination - Being responsible for your own conduct and behaviour
  3. Ujima: Collective work and responsibility - Working to Help each other and in the community
  4. Ujamaa: Cooperative economics - Working to build shops and businesses
  5. Nia: Purpose - Remembering and restoring African and African American cultures, customs and history
  6. Kuumba: Creativity - Using creating and your imagination to make communities better
  7. Imani: Faith - Believing in people, families, leaders, teachers and the righteousness of the African American struggle

Happy Kwanzaa to you all but lets not forget the feast that goes along with  this week long celebration.  Since I love food and I love celebrating,  here a list, Of  favorite African-American dishes, as well as traditional African, Caribbean, and South American recipes. On December 31, the holiday culminates in a feast called Karamu, and Kwanzaa tables overflow with the best of everything.
In the spirit of the holiday, we've put together this bountiful buffet to help you bring a delicious Kwanzaa into your home. Recipes range from Caribbean fruits and jerk sauce to classic Southern sweet potatoes and catfish, as well as black-eyed peas and collard greens for good luck and money in the New Year. Mix and match for a feast that's sure to please. Get recipes Here  FROM OUR FRIENDs  over at  EPICURIOUS http://www.epicurious.com/archive/holidays/kwanzaa/feast

Find  22 KWANZAA RECIPES TO ENJOY  DURING THE SEASON  AND ALL YEAR ROUND http://www.food.com/slideshow/traditional-kwanzaa-food-194

How Kwanzaa is celebrated in The 6ix (Toronto)



Happy Kwanzaa! this has been your Social Buzz With Michelle Smith your health and Social Advocate.
If you have a upcoming Event or Product and  would like to see your event blogged email Me janursingwecare@gmail.com
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