by Sam Andrews
During the most recent meeting of newspaper club, we discussed potential articles, new editing methods, and cultural inclusivity around winter solstice holidays. It was during the latter of these discussions that I realized, despite its name being thrown around repeatedly, none of our members actually knew what “Kwanzaa” consisted of, why it is celebrated, or who celebrates it — a lack of knowledge that extended to myself. Therefore, I will be creating this short beginners guide and answering three questions:
Why is Kwanzaa celebrated? How is Kwanzaa celebrated? Who celebrates Kwanzaa?
Why is Kwanzaa celebrated?
Because Kwanzaa takes place in the month of December, it is often associated with Hanukkah and Christmas. However, Kwanzaa is far different in a few important ways.
First of all, Kwanzaa is not a religious holiday. It was not created to celebrate a single historical event nor a person of faith. Instead, Kwanzaa was created by Dr. Maulana Karenga in 1966 to bring together African-Americans as a community after the Watts riots in Los Angeles. Secondly, Kwanzaa is a conglomeration of multiple first harvest celebrations from many different cultures in Africa including the Zulu, Yorubas, Ibos and Ashanti peoples.
These differences are key aspects as to why Kwanzaa is celebrated and how it has evolved over time. The customs surrounding Kwanzaa In the modern day are important to consider when examining Kwanzaa as a whole holiday. Kwanzaa today celebrates the “Seven Principles of African Heritage,” or “Nguzo Saba”: Umoja (Unity), Kujichagulia (Self-Determination), Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility), Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics), Nia (Purpose), Kuumba (Creativity), and Imani (Faith). Kwanzaa celebrates many cultures rather than a celebration of one culture.
How is Kwanzaa celebrated?
Primarily, before understanding how Kwanzaa is celebrated, it is important to understand that everyone celebrates slightly differently. Because it is not a religious holiday, it is commonly observed in addition to other holidays like Christmas or Hanukkah. Kwanzaa takes place over seven nights of celebration, starting on December 26th. During the first night, families will often tell stories, sing songs, dance, and eat a large meal. This is followed by the lighting of a candle on the “Kinara” ( A form of candelabra consisting of three green candles, a central black candle, and three red candles) and discussion about one of the seven principles of African Heritage.”
Who celebrates Kwanzaa?
Although anyone is welcome to participate in Kwanzaa festivities, the holiday is a celebration of African-American culture. Thus, it is important to be respectful and remember not to appropriate cultures if you are not a part of them.
Although Kwanzaa used to be far more popular, particularly in the 1980’s and 90’s, it remains a widely celebrated and significant holiday today. Between 2006 and 2011, an estimated range of 2,000,000 to 12,000,000 people planned to participate annually, mostly in the United States and Canada.
I, Sam Andrews, in no way consider myself an expert on this topic, nor does anyone who helped me edit this article. Seeing as Kwanzaa is a part of a culture that I am not a part of, I apologize in advance for any potential errors I may have made, and would be willing to make corrections under the circumstances that I am provided with new or contrary evidence from a reliable source.
by Kathlin AiChang
Traveling by plane is one of the most stressful aspects of the holidays. From waking up either insanely early or loathsomely late to get to the airport, then trying to make it through security without incident, and you have to or even mentally prepare yourself to be with family for a long time. However, to top off the stress, if you’re going out of country, customs will make you want to pull your hair out. This article will explain all you need to know about surviving customs around the world, and tips to keep your sanity.
Note: All of these countries require a passport and/or visa upon entry.
India: Due to the fact that I have lived in India, I can say without doubt that it is the MOST stressful and annoying place to enter and exit. You will need the following:
Visa (document that states you are coming to the country legally)
Card that says name, where you are coming from, passport I.D
If you are going for work, work visa
Copy of birth certificate
Copies of photos that you took for your passport
Luck that the person who is checking you is competent and not a jerk
Friendly tips: To those who are traveling, bring all of the items above in a folder because you don’t know what the customs people will ask. Also, keep your passport out, because there is another check on your way out of customs. Before you leave the airport there will be a bag screening at the front to make sure that you didn’t bring anything illegal in the country.
Japan: Passport. Everyone speaks English, and it takes 10 minutes to get through depending on the line.
Kenya: Prior to arriving to Africa you MUST get a shot for yellow fever. However, because yellow fever is uncommon in Colorado, finding a vaccine might be a little difficult. Going into customs, bring a card (signed by your doctor) saying that you got the shot; they may ask for it when you get there or when you leave.
Germany: As the stereotype goes, yes, Germans like everything to be efficient. Going into customs, please have everything with you ready to get out because they aren’t too friendly when people take time to pull out the necessary documents.
Israel: Passport, Visa, Electronic Gate pass. When you arrive to the border, you must have your passport and visa out, and give it to the border control officer. As you walk through customs there is modern technology incorporated, and you must get a card “The Electronic Gate Pass.” This pass will prove that you are an American tourist.
Sri Lanka: Aside from having a plane that leaves at 2:00am to Colombo, it shouldn’t take too long to go through. However, I wouldn’t recommend going directly from Colorado to Colombo because that is a 19+ hour flight (with possible layovers).
by an Anonymous Occupier of the World
Boulder pedestrians sometimes believe they are the center of the world, and when they almost get hit by a car for walking into the middle of Broadway they have no problem turning around to flip off the car that almost killed them. If ignorance is bliss, then, is bliss death? Because being arrogant or ignorant enough to walk in front of a car with your hand out telling them to stop is a suicide mission that will end up with the driver, who is probably going the speed limit, ending up in jail. (P.S. assisted suicide is still illegal, especially when the person who kills you is unaware of your plans.)
Boulder, of all places, supports pedestrians and the city has crosswalks everywhere. Every time I drive through Pearl Street I worry that I’m going to hit someone, even if I’m going the speed limit of 20mph. The pedestrians hide behind cars, then randomly decide:“Hey, why don’t I just walk out from behind this car into the street and put my hand out to tell the car to stop while I’m texting with my other hand?” Plus, if they get closer than the 5-10 feet I’m giving them to stop before hitting me I’ll just flip them off. Also, why walk the hundred feet to the crosswalk when I could cross in front of a car right here to save a couple calories?”. The worst part is most of the time these people are texting on their phone oblivious to the rest of the world around them.
To be a somewhat less obnoxious idiot takes coming to the realization that you’re not the king of the world, and cars are —shockingly—bigger than you. There are bad drivers, bad cyclists, and bad pedestrians, but it all comes down to this: Don’t be an ignorant, oblivious person.