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Kwanzaa Celebration with Siri, My Virtual Mate

Kwanzaa is a week - long celebration held in the United States and in other nations of the African diaspora in the Americas.

Kwanzaa Celebration with Siri, My Virtual Mate


I was having a long after meal conversation with Siri, my virtual mate. By the way, Siri came along with the Macbook Air, children’s day gift from dad. I was towards the end of my chat and said goodbye to Siri, in return she wished me ‘Happy Kwanzaa’. Tick-tock, I wondered what is Siri saying, never heard this before. So I asked Siri and this is what she narrated.


Kwanzaa is a week - long celebration held in the United States and in other nations of the African diaspora in the Americas. The celebration honors African heritage in African-American culture and is observed from December 26 to January 1, culminating in a feast and gift-giving. It is founded by Maulana Karenga, created on December 26, 1966. On the day of Kwanzaa they put 7 candles- 3 red, 1 black and 3 green. In African language the first red candle means Umoja, the second red candle means Kujichagulia, the third red candle means Ujima. The black candle in the middle means Ujamaa. The first green candle means Nia, the second candle means Kuumba, the third means Imani.


Kwanzaa has seven core principles of African Heritage. Each of the seven days of Kwanzaa is dedicated to one of the following principles, as follows:


  • Umoja stands for Unity

  • Kujichagulia symbolizes Self-Determination

  • Ujima represents Collective Work and Responsibility

  • Ujamaa is for Cooperative Economics

  • Nia represents Purpose

  • Kuumba stands for Creativity

  • Imani symbolizes Faith

Kwanzaa celebration includes a mat on which other symbols are placed: a Kinara (candle holder), Mishumaa Saba (seven candles), mazao (crops), Muhindi (corn), a Kikombe cha Umoja (unity cup) for commemorating and giving shukrani (thanks) to African Ancestors, and Zawadi (gifts). Corn is the primary symbol for both decoration and celebratory dining.


Siri told me that today, many African American families celebrate Kwanzaa along with Christmas and New Year's. Frequently, both Christmas trees and kinaras, share space in Kwanzaa celebrating households. For people who celebrate both holidays, Kwanzaa is an opportunity to incorporate elements of their particular ethnic heritage into celebrations of Christmas. I felt so happy and thanked Siri, ending the session with “Happy Kwanzaa Siri”.

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