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5 Myths About Kwanzaa: No it is Not the African Christmas or African Hanukkah

Habari Gani? For those of you who do not know know, it means “What’s the news?’ It’s kind of like What’s up? But it is supposed to be answered with the 7 principles of Kwanzaa according to what day we are on! We will get into what those 7 principles are, but for now, let’s give a basic introduction to Kwanzaa and dispel some myths about kwanzaa

Myth 1: Kwanzaa is an African Holiday

It is a holiday that celebrates all people who are apart of the African Diaspoa. That means that their ancestry is in Africa, but they may have left, or got kidnapped and sold elsewhere It does not matter what language you speak, what skin complexion you are, or what country or continent you currently live in, you can celebrate!

Myth 2: Kwanzaa is a religious Holiday

Kwanzaa has absolutely nothing to do with religion. It is about black unity, community, and prosperity. It is specifically tied to blackness, and those in the African diaspora. It has no ties to any religion whatsoever.

Myth 3: It is the African Hanukkah

Okay this is funny. There are some similarities, but definitely some serious differences. Hanukkah is tied to the religion of Judaism. It uses a candle holder called a Menorah and it holds 8 candles. 

Kwanzaa uses a candle holder as well, it is called a Kinara. It holds 7 candles which represent the 7 principles of Kwanzaa.

The can holder is the main similarity but they are not used for the same reason or tied to the same core principle.

Myth 4: All you do is light candles.

Actually, you can do a host of things during Kwanzaa. You can play games, start a community garden, learn something new. Everyone in the family can pitch in to buy something for the family to practice cooperate economics. You have to find the creative ways to Practice Kwanzaa 

Myth 5: You can't celebrate Christmas and Kwanzaa

As previously mentioned, Kwanzaa is not tied to any religion. You can celebrate Christmas and Kwanzaa. You can give Christmas gifts and Zawadi (Kwanzaa Gifts). Zawadi must be educational, creative, or something that improves the person’s life or business.

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Final Thoughts

Kwanzaa is about bringing out the best in yourself, your community, your nation, and your race. It is a cellebration rooted in pride for being apart of the African Diaspora and it is one way that we can all stay connected, and reconnect through this celebration.

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About the Author

Mish (Pronounced Meesh) Truth has always been a natural social justice advocate. She now holds BA in Psychology and will hold an MSW by May 2021. She is currently a goal coach, a tutor, and a writer.

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