I'm reading on Kwanzaa, an African American holiday for the winter solstice which has been criticized severely by some people in the Xtian Reich (most notably Ann Coulter and Fox News) because they fear that it is intended to replace Christmas. Either way, I was reading about the seven principles that Kwanzaa celebrates and their ethical meanings and was quite inspired by them. 'Faith' might be interpreted as a religious principle, but then again one of the three candles that are lit for Humanlight, the Humanist solstice celebration, is for 'Hope' which is sort of the same thing - the idea being that since this is the longest night of year we know that the sun will shine again and spring will return.

Otherwise, the message of Kwanzaa promotes relationships between equals, cooperation, respect for elders, having goals and planning for the future, cultivation of the arts and creativity. It's a pretty wholesome set of principles and it's pretty much in line with humanist values because it is critical of economic exploitation and the commercialization of the holidays and there's absolutely no reference to the supernatural.

Umoja -- Unity
Kujichagulia -- Self-Determination
Ujima -- Collective Work and Responsibility
Ujamaa -- Cooperative Economics
Nia -- Purpose
Kuumba -- Creativity
Imani -- Faith

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'Anne Coulter'? As an Aussie, I'd never heard of the dopey twat until recently.I'm amazed she's still alive. How does she manage to chew and breathe at the same time?

You hit it on the head with one word; "fear".THE driving force of morons such as Coulter and the pathetic people to whom she and her ilk pander.
You said the "c" word.

Thanks for posting this, I started recognizing this holiday or observance about a couple of years ago and I too think that the principles of Kwanzaa can be inspiring/meaningful to anyone who's open to it!
Hujambo, habari zako?
Interesting. I always find it a mite ironic that KiSwahili should have such a success in the USA, an unlikely setting. It is a beautiful language. I had no idea that the ideals had been so formalized over in the States; Ujamaa comes straight from Nyerere and his presidency of Tanzania, as basically all those original formulations do. The Imani bit actually was initially a promotion of a kind of coexistence of religions, i.e. peaceful coexistence.
Principles are all good except... "Faith." Faith in what? Religion? God?
I agree. I can't think of a good reason to have "Faith". Those who make the best arguments for faith are those who have the loosest definitions for it. If you have evidence or reason for it, you don't need faith. This is another wonderful example of how one need not adopt or reject an entire tradition as a unit. I'd be more than willing to substitute nia with ubongo and imani with utajaribu.
yeah maybe faith is not the right word, maybe hope is better? I know the Humanlight festival uses Hope instead of faith. But I do believe that it's healthy for people to 'believe in' something sensible, psychologists stress the importance of people having something to look forward to or to fight for, having goals and guiding principles.




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