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Lesson Transcript

Hello, and welcome to the Culture Class- Holidays in Kenya Series at SwahiliPod101.com. In this series, we’re exploring the traditions behind Kenyan holidays and observances. I’m Eric, and you're listening to Season 1, Lesson 1. New Year's Day. In Swahili, it’s called Sikukuu ya Mwaka Mpya.
New Year's Day is celebrated on January 1 every year. It's the time of the year when people reflect on the year past, and resolve to make a new plan for the next year of their lives.
This lesson will highlight how Kenyan people refresh themselves each year alongside with family and friends.
Now, before we get into more detail, do you know the answer to this question-
Do you know what parents do for their children on the first day of the year in Kenya?
If you don't already know, you’ll find out a bit later. Keep listening.
People wait for New Year's Day with a lot of enthusiasm, or in Swahili shauku. The faithful go to church and stay overnight while waiting for midnight to come, while others prefer to go to entertainment clubs to relax and dance to music.
When the clock finally strikes twelve, people yell in great excitement and enjoy fireworks, or fataki. Nowadays many people immediately turn to their cell phones to send New Year's special messages to family and friends, such as Sikukuu ya Mwaka Mpya!, meaning “Happy New Year!” in Swahili. Those gathered in churches pray to thank God instead.
In the morning, people start to prepare special meals and drinks. Some invite visitors and entertain them with singing, dancing, and drama. Goats, called mbuzi, are slaughtered in abundance, since the meat is popular during this time. In addition, chapati, or flat bread, mukimo, which is a mixture of peas, potatoes, and greens, pilau, spiced rice, and different kinds of stews are also served.
During the daytime after the feasting, some people clothe themselves in elegant garments and visit places for pleasure. For instance, some go to the wild animal parks, while others go to have fun at the beach. New Year’s is always a big boost to domestic tourism.
On this day, besides celebrating, people try also to involve themselves in popular and responsible activities. They believe that if they are good from the beginning of the year, the rest of it will be successful. They also make good new resolutions, or nia.
Now it's time to answer our quiz question-
Do you know what parents do for their children on the first day of the year in Kenya?
Parents aim to please their children by giving them different gifts. These can be useful things, such as clothes or shoes, or a special toy that the child has had their eye on for a while.
So listeners, how was this lesson? Did you learn something interesting?
Do you celebrate New Year's Day in a similar way in your country?
Leave us a comment at SwahiliPod101.com, and we'll see you in the next lesson!

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SwahiliPod101.com
Monday at 6:30 pm
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Do you celebrate the New Year's Day as the Kenyans do?

Tuesday at 2:30 pm
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Habari Mia,


Wow it is clear you also have fun in Germany during this day. We at swahiliPod101.com have learnt a lot from you. Continue reading about other holidays and tell us how they compare with the ones in Germany. You could also try to write in Swahili and we will guide your vocabulary.


Joshua

Team SwahiliPod101.com

Mia
Sunday at 2:44 am
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Love this new series of cultural topics - it's so helpful for absolute beginners. Thank you so much!

And yes, people in Germany have fireworks at midnight, too, to celebrate the new year. Most Germans hold parties and have a fancy dinner with friends and family, and they watch a special TV clip which is called "dinner for one" - which has become a tradition in Germany, but is almost unknown in Great Britain (where the clip actually takes place). People have new year's resolutions, too. Most want to be more healthy and do more sports, or quit smoking (or any other bad habit). But there is no gift giving going on, as the main gift giving holidays in Germany are St. Niklas day and Christmas Eve (on the 24th of December!). The 1st of January is a public holiday, and mostly for relaxation and family.