Saturday, October 24, 2009


Yesterday, as Marie and I read a newspaper article in Kiswahili with our language teacher after school, we came across a word we actually knew: kwanza. "Aha!" we thought. Now, at last, we'll find out what Kwanza is REALLY all about! (Since Kwanza is an African-American holiday that is taught all over the United States around Christmas time, and since I've never really figured out what it's about... I figured this was a great opportunity to go straight to the source - Africa.)

However, when we asked Lawrence what Kwanza meant, he told us it means "first" in Swahili. When asked about the holiday itself, he looked at us with confusion. Turns out that, though the word is derived from Swahili, the people in the countries where they actually SPEAK Swahili have never even heard about it.

Makes me wonder if we should be teaching it in schools...

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