Kwanzaa

An interesting article for Christians about Kwanzaa. And lots of great discussion in the comments.

Mostly this post is a blog mark. I’ve always thought Kwanzaa was dumb, but I entertained the idea I just didn’t understand it. After reading this my guilt is assuaged.

The main reason I thought it was dumb was it was supposed to be an African holiday. There is no monolithic African culture, any more than than there is a monolithic South American culture.

When I was in graduate school studying missions I was exposed to a number of former African missionaries. The two I remember the most had worked in Kenya and Uganda. But they wouldn’t even consider there to be a Kenya culture. Africa is very much a tribal continent and each tribe has their own culture.

The worst long term thing Europeans did when they colonized Africa was to break it up into countries to suit their own desires. You find tribal groups thrown together in a country that have hated each other for centuries. And sometimes a tribe is split between two countries, being a minority in one and a majority in another.

As I hear tribal groups fighting and killing one another in Africa I wonder if all the people groups of Africa sat down and redrew the country boundaries based on tribal lines, would they find peace.

(If you are offended by the use of tribe let me give you an answer one of my professors said. “That’s what they call themselves.” Or you can just substitute indigenous people group every where I said tribe.)