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 Kwanzaa Celebration 
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Last night, I attended the Kwanzaa Celebration. This is something that I usually would not even consider going to because I do not celebrate it. I can honestly say though, I really enjoyed last night. It was a lot different than I expected, and I was able to learn a lot as well. I never really knew what Kwanzaa was, I just knew I didn't celebrate it and I never took the time to understand why people did, or find out what it was. I just assumed it was linked with a religion that I was not, although I learned last night it doesn't have anything to do with religion. Kwanzaa lasts 7 days and it is an African American holiday that focuses on African values of family, community responsibility, commerce, and self-improvement. It's pretty much a time for African Americans to come together and celebrate. Kwanzaa has 7 candles involved in a candle lighting ceremony we witnessed last night. Although candles are not allowed to be lit in the student union they still went through the candle lighting ceremony. The gospel choir sang, which was amazing. They really started off the celebration with a bang. The special guest that came and performed was the Otesha Creative Arts Ensemble. This was a really neat thing to experience. African music was played by drums and there was dancing. They got the audience involved and really made sure everyone got to experience their culture and have fun in doing so. I'm really glad I was able to go to the Kwanzaa Celebration because I was able to learn a lot, and have fun and I wouldn't have gone to something like this if I wouldn't have had to, so it all worked out that I was able to.

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Amanda Stroud


Wed Nov 18, 2009 2:29 pm
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I also went to the Kwanzaa celebration. Honestly, I didn't really know what Kwanzaa was, so this was definitely a learning experience for me. I never realized that Kwanzaa is not a religious celebration, but a cultural celebration. This was a point that was made at the very beginning. It was interesting to learn about the Seven Principles: Unity, Self-Determination, Collective Work and Responsibility, Cooperative Economics, Purpose, Creativity, and Faith. Candles were lit for each of these. There were several performances, including the Gospel Choir several people who had written poems and lyrics about each of the themes, and the Otesha Creative Ats Ensemble. The Gospel Choir sang two songs. The poems were very interesting, and it was neat to know that students who walk the same campus I do had written them. The Ensemble was really interesting to watch. I loved how interactive it was and that students were picked out of the audience to participate. I thought it was interesting that for the most part, the entire celebration was run by students. Overall this was a great experience and I'm really glad I got to go. I learned a lot about this celebration and now have a better understanding of Kwanzaa.

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Lindsey Hagel


Wed Nov 18, 2009 3:16 pm
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I also attended the celebration and found it very interesting as I knew nothing about the celebration. I too thought it revolved around a special holiday and had no idea it was not the celebration of a religious holiday. It is a celebration of 7 different elements such as family over seven different days. I loved attending the celebration because it was not only interesting to learn, but in addition I had a great time as they incorporated the audience in the celebration to help enforce the ideas. I loved the songs that the gospel choir sang as it showed that anyone can participate in the festivities. It was interesting to learn about another culture that I knew nothing about previous to this experience.

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Elizabeth Laubach


Mon Nov 23, 2009 1:49 pm
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