12.30.2008

Kwanzaa

We'd like to thank one of our readers (Joe) for suggesting a review on Kwanzaa. Not only is it timely (Holiday week), but may prove to contain some useful knowledge to those who may not know much about this holiday.

As the Review Spew staff is comprised mainly of chubby pasty white guys, I am probably the most qualified to write about Kwanzaa...as I'm part Jewish. (And "my people" voted mostly for Obama---is this a stretch to declare qualification?? Yes...but I've also been to a Kwanzaa celebration, so suck it)


First, let me state what the stereotypical notion of Kwanzaa is based on my discussions with the "every-day" joe:

It's basically a holiday created by black people to give an ethnic alternative to Christmas.

Now let me set the record straight about what it truly is:

It's basically a holiday created by black people to give an ethnic alternative to Christmas.

To be a little more clear, Kwanzaa is dedicated to helping African-Americans remember their heritage, and give an alternative to Christmas.
Some of the celebratory acts I witnessed were; lighting candles, singing, reciting poems, and alcohol. All the acts (except the booze) are symbolic of traits and principles learned from their African Heritage.

The limited exposure I had with the celebration seemed much more boring than Christmas, and I found that many of my friends actually celebrated both holidays. I would imagine that if your heritage were being celebrated, one would find it much more interesting. My mom never let us celebrate both Hanukhah and Christmas,(in terms of number of presents received) so I was slightly jealous.

In the 60's, this holiday was created BY African-Americans FOR African-Americans. Don't get me wrong...anyone in this country can create a holiday for a peaceful group of Americans. But it seems that in a time when "separate-but-equal" was prevalent among those pushing to keep a racial divide, that creating a holiday for a separate group of people would have only perpetuated this type of thinking. Since the spawn of this holiday, the originators of this holiday have said that everyone can take part in the festivities.

I applaud those that wish to observe this holiday. While some people may wonder why those people should have their own holiday, consider the fact that we celebrate other days every year like: Earth Day, Cinco de Mayo, Rosh Hashanah, Secretary's day, and Grandparents day.

I'm actually considering starting my own holiday termed "Guys with Guts." No, this does not celebrate the military, dare-devils, or public service sector. It celebrates all of us men who carry a "little in the middle." I believe that I can generate a ground-swell of support, and hopefully will get a paid vacation day out of the deal.


I'm sure Val Kilmer is in favor of "Guys with Guts."


While Kwanzaa is not applicable to me, and I didn't like how the Dashiki fit around my hips, it seemed to be an enjoyable holiday for those who carried personal meaning in the traditions.
I give the holiday 3 "fairly ignorant, outsider looking in" stars out of 5.


I give the concept of creating your own holiday 5 stars, and will be pushing hard for "Guys with Guts" day.

2 comments:

Da Old Man said...

I am no=w ever so slightly more informed. Thanks.

Though I like your "Guys with Guts" idea very much.

Stormee said...

I like the idea of Kwanzaa for one thing it also celebrates 1st fruits. So you can celebrate Kwanzaa anytime you have a "first" in your life. It is nice that you did a review about it. But I don't think it is supposed to be an alternitive to Christmas that is why you see people celebrating both. Christmas celebrates Jesus' birth and Kwanzaa celebrates the 7 principles. Here is a website that gives you that information.
http://www.officialkwanzaawebsite.org/NguzoSaba.shtml

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