Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Caribbean families embrace kwaanza as Christmas becomes too materialistic

20.12.2004


As Christmas becomes ever more materialistic, Caribbean families in Britain are increasingly turning to Kwaanza – a festival rooted in an African tradition - as the setting for their family celebrations, according to research sponsored by the ESRC.



Many will go to church on Christmas morning in what they see as part of their Caribbean tradition. But Kwaanza is now also widely celebrated by black people across the Caribbean, the UK and rest of Europe, usually alongside Christmas, or even as a reaction against it.

Research among second and third generation young people of Caribbean origin, found that the period between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Day is an important family ritual, with an intense period of contact and catching up with far-flung relations.


Christmas is regarded as an important religious festival in the Caribbean, and the practice of church-going and collective worship still represents an important characteristic of its culture.

Many young people felt that whilst perhaps not practising their religion all the time, their families were more spiritual and church-oriented than the average British family. They spoke of traditions such as table-blessing on Christmas Day, and their father saying grace.

Kwaanza - celebrated from December 26 to January 1 - reaffirms the importance of family, community and culture among black people. Its role as a popular, spiritual and family-based celebration in a western industrialised context was begun in the United States by African-Americans.

The young people who identified Kwaanza as a time for family celebration expressed cynicism about the increased materialism and consumer culture of Christmas and the influence of European values and beliefs on its celebration. They spoke also of a wish to adhere to a spiritual and religious festival that expresses black unity and fellowship.

During Christmas, Caribbean young people in the UK use family relationships around the world in very particular ways to celebrate what they see as Caribbean cultural practices and ethnic traditions. And this reinforces their sense of belonging to their ethnic group.

Taking part in celebrations also enables them to be part of family networks dispersed around the globe.

Michael, 22, said: “No matter what’s going on, I always make sure I go home to Jamaica for Christmas. Usually about five or six of my 10 uncles and aunts go home. It’s a family tradition that we meet up at my parents’ house in Kingston and then travel down to my uncle in Montego Bay on Christmas Eve. Usually my uncle from Germany is there as well. Last Christmas, my aunt from New Zealand came. Some of my Dad’s aunties from the States were there, and three of his cousins and their kids, they all live in Canada. What we do when there is pretty much sit down and eat, drink and catch up with each other. Our family ‘get togethers’ are important. It keeps us emotionally close.”

Advances such as e-mail and the Instant Messenger service mean that physical separation no longer poses a problem in terms of the immediacy of contact between family members. And the relative ease and affordability of air travel mean that it is not too difficult for dispersed family members to come together in the Caribbean, so reinforcing ethnic, family and cultural ties to the region.

Becky Gammon | alfa
Further information:
http://www.esrc.ac.uk

More articles from Social Sciences:

nachricht Fixating on faces
26.01.2017 | California Institute of Technology

nachricht Internet use in class tied to lower test scores
16.12.2016 | Michigan State University

All articles from Social Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA's Fermi catches gamma-ray flashes from tropical storms

25.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Researchers invent process to make sustainable rubber, plastics

25.04.2017 | Materials Sciences

Transfecting cells gently – the LZH presents a GNOME prototype at the Labvolution 2017

25.04.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>