April 17, 2012

My Kwanzaa Prayer

From African Rhapsody by X-ray-Robinson (author's profile)

Transcription

My Kwanza Prayer
I give thanks to the Creator for all the blessings of this earth> I ask that the Spirit of Kwanza be infused into every aspect of my daily life. May the light of the seven candles illuminate my daily affairs and guide me into fulfillment of my true potential. May I always remember my ancestors with reverence and love. May I benefit from their wisdom and strength as I seek to preserve and continue the heritage they left me.

May the Nguzo Saba become beacons for me to live my life in service, humility, grace, and strength.

Umoja
Unity - Loyalty
I will strive to grow closer to my true self, my family, my friends, my community, and the brotherhood of all mankind while I widen my circle of loyalty and love.

Kujichagalia
Self-determination - Realization
Empower me to realize my dreams of being and becoming the best for myself and my people. I will base my dreams on who I am and what I can be. I will work my body, my mind, and my spirit to make my dreams come true.

Ujima
Collective work and responsibility - Community
In all ways, I will strive to recognize and fulfill my responsibility to myself and to those around me. May I find strength in the performance of my duty.

Ujamaa
Cooperative economics - Sharing
May I give generously to all that I have to those who can benefit from it the most. May I be receptive to, and utilize, the resources and opportunities which will come to me in return.

Kuumba
Creativity - Resourcefulness
May I keep an open mind to new ideas and ways of living. Let me bring to each possibility my own unique creativity. May what I produce be something which expresses the essence of what, and who, I am.

Imani
Faith - Spirituality
I will always reach out to a higher source. That will be the groundwork for all that I think and all that I do in this physical plane. May I grow in the knowledge that I exist as part of the universe.

Nia
Purpose - Commitment
May I have an increased understanding of my purpose in life, and may all of my energies be constantly directed to that end. May I take full advantage of every opportunity to develop my human potential for love, service, and fulfillment.

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Kwanza
[Drawing of an African dressed family. The father is above the mother, and their daughter and son are facing one another whlie holding a bowl of fruit.]

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Kwanzaa
"First"
December 26 - January 1
AN AFRICAN CELEBRATION

Kwanza is a word meaning "first", or in this case it signifies the first fruits. Celebration of harvesting the first crops of first fruits is traditional in Africa.

On each day of the week of Kwanza, when asked, "Habari gani," the answer will not be "Njama." It will be the first, second, onto the seventh day. On the fifth day, if someone asks, "Habari gani," the answer would be Nie, the fifth principle.

The Mkake is a straw mat on which on all other items are placed.

The Kinera is a candle holder which holds seven candles and presents the original stalk from which we all sprang.

The seven candles represent the Seven Principles.

The ear of corn represents the offering or produce (the Children) of the stalk (the father of the house).

THE SEVEN PRINCIPLES (Nguzo Saba)
1. UMOJA (UNITY) To strive for and maintain unity in the family, community, nation and race.
2. KUJICHAGULIA (SELF-DETERMINATION) To define ourselves, name ourselves, and speak for ourselves, instead of being defined and spoken for by others.
3. UJIMA (COLLECTIVE WORK AND RESPONSIBILITY) To build and maintain our community together and to make our brothers and sisters' problems our problems and to solve them together.
4. UJAMAA (COOPERATIVE ECONOMICS) To build and maintain our own stores, shops, and other businesses and to profit together from them.
5. NIA (PURPOSE) To make as our collective vocation the building and developing our community in order to restore our people to their traditional greatness.
6. KUUMBA (CREATIVITY) To do always as much as we can, in the way we can in order to leave our community more beautiful and beneficial than when we inherited it.
7. IMANI (FAITH) To believe with all our heart in our parents, our teachers, our leaders, our people, and the righteousness and victory of our struggle.

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