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Hello. Come on in. The daddy writes about current events, literature, music and, once in a while, drops something on you from back in the day to make you pause and ponder, stop and stare, and begin to wonder. Who knows? You may start to pace the floor, shake your head from side to side, then fall down on bended knees in a praying position and cry, "Lawd, have mercy! What is this world coming to?" Check yourself! But this blog is NOT about the daddy. It's about you: your boos, your fam, your hood, your country...our hopes and dreams of a better tomorrow. So let's make a pact: the daddy will put it on the track if you'll chase it down and hit him back. Together, we can definitely take it to another level. Shall we?"

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The 5th day of Kwanza is about Purpose

Kwanzaa Day 5: Nia


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Today, the daddy is feeling Kwanzaa, the fifth principle of Kwanza: Nia - Purpose. On
this day, brothers and sisters pledge:

"To make a collective vocation, building and developing the community in order to restore Black people to their traditional greatness."
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Many of my friends still think of Kwanzaa as a religion. It is not. In an interview with Beliefnet, Ron Karenga, founder of Kwanza talks about it:

Beliefnet: Why celebrate Kwanzaa in December among the religious holidays that are celebrated in the same month? Do you feel it might add to the misconception that Kwanzaa should be celebrated in place of Christmas or other December holidays?

Maulana Karenga: The first reason for the choice of date of Kwanzaa was for cultural authenticity. A central model for Kwanzaa is umkhosi or the Zulu first-fruit celebration which is seven days and is celebrated about this time. Other first-fruit celebrations were celebrated at the end of the old year and the beginning of the New Year such as Pert-em-Min of ancient Egypt. So Kwanzaa's model is older than Christmas and Hanukkah and thus does not borrow from them or seek to imitate them in the or manner.

People may celebrate either or all of the year-end holidays. And it makes little sense to attribute Kwanzaa's date of celebration to misconceptions about its replacing Christmas or Hanukkah when it is simply following a pre-established season for African first-fruit celebrations which precede both Hanukkah and Christmas. Moreover, Kwanzaa is a cultural holiday not a religious one. And it builds on African commonality, not on the religious, political and other choices we make which often separate us and cause us to focus on difference rather than similarity. In the final analysis, it all depends on personal choice; people choose holidays to celebrate, religions to practice and philosophies to follow. We do not show proper respect for diversity if we blame personal choice and change on one holiday or another.

Beliefnet: While many of us know that Kwanzaa is drawn from ancient African culture and tradition, how much of it comes from African religions? Lately it has been connected more closely to religion by many observers.

Maulana Karenga: Kwanzaa does not come from African religions, it comes from African culture. But no serious student of African culture - ancient or modern, continental or diasporan - can deny that African spirituality pervades African life. -------------------------------------------

What do you think of when you reflect on the word purpose?

5 comments:

Christopher said...

I'm learning much from you about Kwanzaa. Thanks for keeping me informed.

SagaciousHillbilly said...

Daddy, I'm thinking of the greatest show of purpose I ever saw in my lifetime (socially) that I witnessed in 2008. Wow, was that amazing?
I never saw so many people get organized and act in a purposeful manner.
Creativity and purposeful behaviors are the key to innovation. . . socially, economically or technologically.

blackwomenblowthetrumpet.blogspot.com said...

Hey there MacDaddy!!

Thanks for this post on NIA!

Peace, blessings and DUNAMIS!
Lisa

Verna Monson said...

Hey thanks for the great info on Kwanzaa. I think purpose is what makes life meaningful. If one's purpose is simply to amuse oneself or to look too much to material things or power / position / conformity, life can become kind of empty, directionless. Purpose is really about knowing who you are, deep down, beyond what the easy path is in life, do you think?

Your life has been blessed with much purpose, and one of them continues to be educating others.

Many blessings, MacDaddy!
Verna

MacDaddy said...

Christopher/Sagacious: Thanks
Lisa: Thanks. And I'm coming to see you.

Verna: Great thoughts. I like it. Looking forward to hearing more from you in 2009.Blessins.