Celebrate Kwanzaa 

Kwanzaa is an African-American cultural, non-religious holiday that is celebrated from Dec. 26-Jan. 1. Each day represents one of the seven principals: Umoja, unity; Kujichagulia, self-determination; Ujima, collective work and responsibility; Ujamaa, cooperative economics; Nia, purpose; Kuumba, creativity; and Imani, faith.

Kwanzaa was created in 1966 in Los Angeles, Calif., and has grown throughout the United States and other parts of the world. According to a December 1998 article published by the World African Network, 10 million celebrate the holiday in the United States, and another 8 million observe Kwanzaa in other places such as England, the Caribbean and Africa.

The annual Umoja Village Kwanzaa Festival will be held Dec. 26 at Martin University, 2171 Avondale Place, in the Gathertorium from 3-9 p.m. This event is sponsored by the Indianapolis Kwanzaa Committee, the Black Vendors Association and Martin University.

Cultural activities are planned for this 40th anniversary celebration including a grand cultural procession, Afrikan market place, Afrikan drumming and dancing, family crafts and activities, cultural food and the annual candle lighting ceremony beginning at 6:30 p.m. The event is free and opened to the community.

Local cultural groups have been invited to be a part of this community celebration including Crash Crew, Nyama Drum and Dance Troupe, Midtown Writers, Simba House, Kuumba Youth Theatre and Indiana Reggae Band.

For more information, call Mashariki N. Jywanza at 317-923-3452 or 317-833-4608.

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