Kwanzaa - Encounter Culture
In 1966, Dr. Maulana Karenga, professor and chairman of Black Studies at California State University (Long Beach) created a uniquely African American and Pan-American holiday called Kwanzaa. After the Watts riots in Los Angeles, Dr. Karenga searched for ways to bring African-Americans together as a community. He founded US, a cultural organization, and started to research African “first fruit” (harvest) celebrations. Karenga combined aspects of several different harvest celebrations, such as those of the Ashanti and Zulu, to form the basis of Kwanzaa. It is a fairly new holiday remembrance that does not reflect any religion, but rather focuses as a tribute celebration to these ancient African cultural values and traditions.
It is traditionally celebrated with families decorating their households with objects of art, colorful African cloth, and especially the wearing of kaftans by women. It is seven days of celebrations focusing on the seven core values of the Nguzo Saba, candles are also lit on each day. On the last day, gifts are exchanged. We hope you take a moment to share this unique holiday and bring new knowledge and awareness with your international participants.