We held our annual Kwanzaa event this year on 27th December 2013 at the Leeds West Indian Centre. Kwanzaa is important to Per Ankh members and it is one of the events that we organise on an annual basis. In celebrating Kwanzaa we are celebrating family, community and culture. We are also honouring our ancestors and our African heritage, demonstrating unity (as we work across Bradford, Leeds and Huddersfield) and a real sense of community pride. Kwanzaa is all about ‘values’ and the values that we try to live by. We celebrate Kwanzaa from 26th December until the 1st of January but we try to live by and practice the principles throughout the year.
Created by Maulana Karenga, the great African Teacher and Historian, Kwanzaa has grown internationally and is recognised as an official African holiday. It is a total shame that most UK Blacks still celebrates Christmas as if it is the most important celebration of the year yet few recognise the significance of Kwanzaa and more importantly, why we should celebrate it.
Each year in Leeds we celebrate Kujichagulia (which means Self-Determination) : To define ourselves, name ourselves, create for ourselves, and speak for ourselves. There are Kwanzaa events held in other parts of the UK too in Manchester, Birmingham, Bristol, Luton and London to name but a few. Each town/city celebrates a different principle, there are 7 principles in total.
This year we had over 130 in attendance and everyone was treated to the most amazing guest speakers, food, performances and entertainment. There were also a good mix of stallholders from all parts of the UK each with a lovely variety of goods for sale.
The African market was bustling and this fits nicely with Per Ankh’s philosophy of ‘buying Black’ where possible and supporting our own businesses. We feel that it is important that we support each other in order for everyone to benefit. If we don’t support our own businesses then who will? Talking about that, have you checked out our sister site yet UK Black Business Directory. It’s a directory of Black businesses with a focus on businesses in the north of England. If you have your own business, make sure you register to list your business.
Getting back to Kwanzaa 2013 though, all in all this years event was fabulous. Pictures from this year’s event to follow shortly.