Does celebrating Kwanzaa make us "non - Christian"
To understand this question, we must first understand Kwanzaa, at least to our family.
Kwanzaa is an African American holiday lasting over seven days from December 26th to January 1st. It is a cultural holiday that emphasizes the importance of family, community, and culture. The name Kwanzaa comes from the Swahili phrase "matunda ya kwanza," which translates to "first fruits" and symbolizes the celebration of the first fruit harvests in Africa.
We aren't celebrating the first fruits but rather preparing for our soon-to-be kidding season.
Kwanzaa celebrates seven principles known as Nguzo Saba:
Unity (Umoja), as a large family, we hold a very tight bond with each other. We work together, play together, and rest together.
Owning a business, and especially a farm, requires self-determination. Everyone has to have it to work together. Just one person giving up makes the entire chain weak.
Collective Work and Responsibility (Ujima) Have you ever known someone that wasn't pulling their weight but wanted to reap the rewards? That can't happen in a large farm family.
We all have great strengths and weaknesses. We brainstorm as a family to solve problems.
This is what collective work and responsibility looks like for us.
Cooperative Economics (Ujamaa) This one gets a little more tricky if you look at it in the literal way it was intended. We're a small business, and we strive to support all small businesses, regardless of race, gender, or sex. Small businesses are still the backbone and treat their employees like family, but they've also taken the brunt of this economic downfall.
No one had millions to stay afloat, and the Small Business Administration offered very little during Covid shutdowns.
Purpose (Nia) We each have a reason we are here on this earth. Some of us may not have found it yet, but trust me when I say you will find it, and then your wings will spread wide as you soar to heights you never knew were possible.
Creativity(Kuumba ) Ever heard there isn't one way to skin a cat? We sometimes have to get creative to solve problems as a family. How do we feed the goats more efficiently with what we already have? How do we package items when our brand bottles are out of stock? The list goes on and on because if it didn't, it wouldn't be "The Riggins way."
Lastly, Faith (Imani).
This year has been exceptionally difficult, cancer, our Patriarch's death, shipping issues, and the economy turning sour - did you know that eggs are now $21 for 60 eggs????
If we didn't have faith that things would get better, we would have sold our goats, found a smaller property, and closed the store because there are times that have looked pretty bleak.
We feel like there are some weird misconceptions, especially after you break it down and understand what is being celebrated.
There will be a feast this weekend at our house, with much celebrating and rest as we prepare for the new year and new ideas to support our family, community, and culture.
We believe in celebrating Kwanzaa, and we are proud to be part of this African American tradition. Whether or not you celebrate it, too, we hope that our story helps you to understand the importance and meaning behind this holiday.
What do you think about celebrating Kwanzaa?