We didn’t invent Kwanzaa in Puerto Rico, but we incorporated its principles into our way of life long before a college professor in California saw the need for an organized celebration of values. Lately, we need to remind ourselves of these principles and we need to recover them. We need to teach them to our children and grandchildren.

On Friday night, December 23, we had the privilege of being jolted out of bed by a parranda. It is a privilege because we don’t get to celebrate a genuine Puertorrican tradition every day. I was thankful that my mini-teenager decided to get out of bed at 1 a.m. and participate (clap and sing lalala, while we learn the songs). The parranderos are members of my parents ‘ church in Barrio Candelaria, Bayamón, Puerto Rico. The song I recorded is a call to preserve traditions and pass them on, before the coqui (iconic tree frog) quits singing.

It was a time of joy and Unity, the first principle of Kwanzaa.

I hope you can play my little iPhone video. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iJViwmL5P9g
Happy Kwanzaa!

Go here to learn about Kwanzaa, which starts today: http://www.officialkwanzaawebsite.org/documents/KwanzaaandtheSevenPrinciples12-22-11.pdf