Religion & Beliefs

Kwanzaa Blues

I went to a pub quiz last night with a couple friends where we were rewarded for knowing, among other things, Beyonce’s age, the capital of Oman, and the gross fish export of Qatar in kilotons (we didn’t actually know … Read More

By / December 21, 2006

I went to a pub quiz last night with a couple friends where we were rewarded for knowing, among other things, Beyonce’s age, the capital of Oman, and the gross fish export of Qatar in kilotons (we didn’t actually know that number, but our team had the closest guess). The questions were divided into categories, and one category was ChrismaHanuKwanzaa, with one question about each holiday. We rocked Christmas and Hanukkah, but stumbled when asked what year Kwanzaa was first celebrated (1966, apparently).

It got me thinking about Kwanzaa in general. Wikipedia’s Kwanzaa entry is very informative and has a nice section about the controversy surrounding the holiday. The whole thing makes me sad, though. I wish Hanukkah was as meaningful a holiday as Kwanzaa is meant to be. But seeing the way people think about Kwanzaa (Tony Snow has called it “fraudulent”), even with all its cool principles and ideals, I don’t have much hope. The problem with Hanukkah, in my mind, is that it doesn’t have much of a spiritual base, and yet everybody loves it because it involves fried food and presents. The problem with Kwanzaa is that it has an awesome ideological base, but almost nobody really gets into it. I know the OC got everybody into Chrismakkuh a few years ago, but I wish someone would start Hanuzaa. That would be AWESOME.