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Celebrating seven days of Kwanzaa

Ottawa’s African and Caribbean communities launch a full week of Kwanzaa celebration activities today.

Ottawa’s African and Caribbean communities launch a full week of Kwanzaa celebration activities today.

“From food to music to dance to poetry to singing, people come together to celebrate their heritage and their culture,” said Kenneth Campbell, organizer of this week’s activities.

The festival begins with the lighting of a kinara, which has seven candles, one for each day of the holiday and for each of the seven principles of Kwanzaa.

Campbell said this is the 10th annual Ottawa Kwanzaa celebration.

This year specifically honours domestic pioneers, people who arrived from the Caribbean in the 1950s as domestic servants and laid the foundation of the Caribbean-Canadian community.

While there are crafts, games and other activities specifically for children, Campbell said they are always included in the general celebrations.

“Generally we don’t really separate kids from the adults because the whole idea, the gist of Kwanzaa is a celebration of family, unity and culture,” he said. “So, it’s really about the whole family coming together and having a big celebration.”

For a full listing of Kwanzaa activities, go to villageithiopia.ca.

 
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