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OHPE Bulletin 341, Volume 2003, No. 341

Happy Holidays! The OHPE Editorial Team wishes all of its readers, contributors, supporters and colleagues a happy, healthy and joyful holiday season. This will be our last issue until the new year, as we take time to celebrate and be with our families and friends.

It is truly a season of celebration. Tonight begins the festival of lights as we approach solstice and Hannukah, the eight-day Jewish holiday. Next week will bring more festivities as Christmas and the various traditions around it are celebrated. From December 26 until January 2 there is another holiday new to many: Kwanzaa. Thanks to the website KidsDomain, we would like to share with you a description of this African-American/Canadian heritage celebration.

"The name Kwanzaa, comes from a phrase which means 'first fruits' in Swahili, an East African language. Kwanzaa is celebrated through singing, speaking, dancing and reciting traditional stories. Kwanzaa is built on seven principles that are commonly known as 'Nguzo Saba.' These principles are 1) umoja--unity, 2) kujichagulia--self-determination, 3) ujima--collective work and responsibility, 4) ujamaa--cooperative economics, 5) nia--purpose, 6) kuumba--creativity and 7) imani--faith. Each of the seven days of the celebration is dedicated to one of the seven principles. Happy Kwanzaa!" Read more at

There is much to learn and appreciate from these principles and the multiple faiths and beliefs that make up the diversity of our world. We hope that our readers enjoy these next two weeks in many different ways.

In the next message we take you through a review of what 2003 has brought to us at the OHPE Bulletin-a wealth of features, commentary and resources from the health promotion community in Ontario.

From all of us at the Ontario Health Promotion Email Bulletin--Noelle Gadon, Alison Stirling, Jodi Thesenvitz, Larry Hershfield, Brian Hyndman and our colleagues at Ontario Prevention Clearinghouse and The Health Communication Unit--plus our many contributors--thank you for a fabulous year and see you on January 2!