Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy Kwanza! Happy New Year!

Each year I try to celebrate Kwanzaa by making a small fruit basket for each of the children in the family with gifts of books and games. They especially love clementines, apples and pears but I also try to add a new fruit that we have never tried. This year I have found a special book with a complimentary theme to give them, D is for Dragon Fruit, An Exotic Fruit Alphabet Book by Monique Duncan.   This book allows "children to travel around the world and learn about a colorful variety of fruit from A to Z."  Ms. Duncan has embarked on her own creative path by establishing a publishing company, Sweet Pea Books, which exemplify the principles of Kujichagulia, Ujamaa and Kuumba.  Find out more about her story by visiting,

Kwanzaa brings us together as a family and a community but the principles we share and talk about are needed throughout the year.  So let us begin the new year with The Nguzo Saba - The Principles of Kwanzaa and extend them throughout the year.  At Maple Sugar Child, I will focus on the values and  principles of Kwanzaa in our everyday life throughout the year.

The Seven Principles (Nguzo Saba) of Kwanzaa are:

Unity: Umoja (oo–MO–jah) -to strive for and maintain unity in the family, community, nation, and race.
Self-determination: Kujichagulia (koo–gee–cha–goo–LEE–yah) - to define ourselves, name ourselves, create for ourselves, and speak for ourselves.
Collective Work and Responsibility: Ujima (oo–GEE–mah) - to build and maintain our community together and make our brother's and sister's problems our problems and to solve them together.
Cooperative Economics: Ujamaa (oo–JAH–mah) - to build and maintain our own stores, shops, and other businesses and to profit from them together.
Purpose: Nia (nee–YAH) - to make our collective vocation the building and developing of our community in order to restore our people to their traditional greatness.
Creativity: Kuumba (koo–OOM–bah) - to do always as much as we can, in the way we can, in order to leave our community more beautiful and beneficial than we inherited it.
Faith: Imani (ee–MAH–nee) - to believe with all our heart in our people, our parents, our teachers, our leaders, and the righteousness and victory of our struggle.

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