Kwanzaa Food and Decor

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As soon as we went down the escalator in the campus center, I knew that we had arrived at the right place for the Kwanzaa celebration.  By the door were a bunch of balloons of the colors green, red, and black; the Kwanzaa colors.  I wasn’t sure what to expect as I walked through the auditorium doors, but the
decor of the room encompassed what is viewed as traditional decorations for such a celebration.  Not only were their additional bunches of balloons set up in front of the stage, but there were also multiple tables set up around the room each with either a green, red, or black tablecloth.  Streamers of the appropriate colors were also draped along the front of the stage as well as across the podium.  There were eight different African tapestries hung up along the walls of the auditorium, with mainly orange and brown colors.  A main table was set up in the front of the room holding a Mishumaa Saba, seven candles representing the seven ideals by which the African people are urged to live by (www.officialkwanzaawebsite.org).  The table also contained multiple African dolls and statues and the symbols of Kwanzaa.

It wouldn’t be an authentic celebration without food of course.  I was expecting there to be a lot of ethnic African food, but was very much surprised to find that there was all typical American food.  The event was catered by UMass Catering, which is located upstairs in the campus center.  The selection included macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes, corn, fried chicken, rice, collard greens, rolls, and cornbread.  I wouldn’t be able to accurately report on the food without tasting it myself of course.  I thought that it was decent,
but definitely not one of the greatest meals I have had.

The Kwanzaa celebration met some of my expectations but definitely surprised me in the food area.  It probably isn’t something that I would ever attend again or in my own free time, but it was interesting to experience something new and to observe the scenery that I was placed in.

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