Frizzy hair and Kwanzaa

A good start

Before the year has just started, I have already had a lot of new experiences. We have now passed the first snow storm and the temperatures are dangerously low, but that should not spoil the fun. New York wouldn't be New York if there was nothing to do.


For starters, I attended a Kwanzaa ceremony for the first time. Invited by Solwazi a colleague photographer who photographed the Going Natural Models last year, I was allowed to experience a private Kwanzaa ceremony for the first time. Although I had heard of Kwanzaa before and went to it for the first time this year Museum of Natural History I've never been to a ceremony to celebrate this party.

For those who don't know what Kwanzaa is, it is a non-religious 7-day festival celebrated annually from December 26 to January 1, with the aim of recognizing and celebrating the cultural heritage and traditional customs of the Diaspora people. expose.

Kwanzaa is derived from "Matunda Ya Kwanza" which in Swahili means Harvest Festival. While other cultures celebrate Hanukkah, Idle Fitr and Devali for example, Africans from the Diaspora lacked holidays symbolizing a cultural connection. That is why Dr. Maulana Karenga, an African American Professor, founded this festival consciously with the aim of supporting the following three goals:
1) To recognize that the roots of the Black people in America are in Africa and to restore and reconstruct this culture.
2) To affirm and strengthen the bond between African Americans
3) To restore the seven African community principles.

I am sure that culture enriches. As a child who grew up in Suriname, I feel like the queen too rich that I was able to experience parties like Eid Ul Fitr, Jaran Kepang and Dewali. I will never forget my first service in a mosque in Wageningen after I went on the Dewali tour. I had asked my mom to join me because I thought those sarees and those lights were so magical. But the story behind the little party will always stay with me. So this is an example of a festival that recognizes and strengthens the bond between Hindus all over the world because wherever they are, it is celebrated everywhere. From India to Suriname and even though I am not a Hindu by faith, the party has certainly enriched my life.


Djaran Kepang in Suriname. I experienced several times during Harvest Festival when I lived in Wageningen (Suriname)

So is Kwanzaa. The 7 days of Kwanzaa symbolize the following seven principles: Unity, Self-determination, Collective Work and Responsibility, Purpose, Creativity and Trust.

What I had never considered, however, was that in addition to the seven principles, the following symbols are also important: Fruit, which symbolizes a good harvest, a mat, for traditions and history as a foundation, the candle holder stands for our roots, the corn on the cob for our children, the candles for the 7 principles, the glass for unity and the gifts symbolize the relationship between parents and children.

However, even before the official part had started, I was welcomed upon arrival by the host and introduced to the rest of the party. Afterwards I could enjoy the delicious buffet consisting of tayerblad, smoked chicken, fried banana, salad, mandarin oranges and last but not least a delicious gluten / sugar free nut cake, all delicious! For me, Kwanzaa was already successful then. The ceremony could hardly go wrong then, of course. You can read how it went on to sell on my American blog: Imani, my 1st Kwanzaa Celebration


Then I found a clip of Dewali in Suriname. I practically grew up with this music. It is as much part of my DNA as Dear Hugo and Michael Jackson:


Now that I think about all this, it may well be the year of cultural celebrations. What do you think? How was your first week?