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Give-aways can be traced back to the tribes/nations of the midwestern and high plains. As with fry-bread, we don't know the specific tribal tradition of origin. In the broad sense, a give-away is nearly the reverse of the majority culture's understanding of gift giving.In the majority culture, the expectation is to receive gifts when being honored, recognized, or celebrated on special occasions, such as birthdays, graduations, retirements, political elections, or special appointments.
Historically, in the Native American tradition, many nations/tribes have conducted a give-away when being honored. One gives to strangers, not simply hoping to make friends, but because it is the honorable thing to do. One gives to honor a relative, and this in turn honors that person in the eyes of the community. One gives when one seemingly has nothing to give.
Today the give-away practice continues in the communities and gatherings of many tribes and nations. It is being practiced more and more as Native Americans reclaim their traditions.
Ray Buckley, who is a Lakota/Tlingit, said that in many Native American cultures, what matters is not what someone has but what the person is able to give away to others.
"It is not the value of the gift, but the giving itself that is culturally relevant," he said. "Giving a gift that may not have significant monetary worth, but significant spiritual or personal value is a sign of a giving heart."
In the Lakota tradition, he said, all living things created by God are often referred to as "people." The Lakotas have a phrase, "mitaque oyasin," which means "all my relations" and refers to all human beings, four-legged animals, and those that can fly, swim and crawl. "In The Give-Away, the four-legged and those that can fly gather for council to discuss the needs of the two-legged (human beings). In an attempt to meet the needs of humanity, they offer the most precious parts of themselves. In the end, it is the Creator who chooses to give away the greatest gift for humankind — the Son of God," Buckley said.
Because of a love for Christ that defied persecution, Native Christians survived "the cultural dismemberment that the church often brought," he said. Native Christians have existed for more than 500 years and have left a legacy of music, testimony and art, he said.
Most of the Native cultures found the message of Jesus to be consistent with the "truth that God had given their ancestors," he said. Some Native people found that the story of Christ's birth fulfilled tribal prophecies. Some of those who chose Christianity also wanted to maintain their culture and worship God with expressions that were relevant to their traditions.
"In many ways, Native people are beginning to gain confidence that the work of God within Native people has cultural significance not only to the church, but to the world at large," Buckley said. "Native people, including Native Christians have much, and the desire, to give away to the world."
European Christmas for Native Americans actually started when the Europeans came over to America. They taught the Indian about Christianity, gift-giving , and St. Nicholas. There are actually two religious types of Indian people in existence. One of these is the Traditionalist, usually full-blooded Indians that grew up on the reservations. The second type is the Contemporary Indian that grew up in an urban area, usually of mixed blood, and brought up with Christian philosophy.
Traditionalists are raised to respect the Christian Star and the birth of the first Indian Spiritual Leader. He was a Star Person and Avatar. His name was Jesus. He was a Hebrew, a Red Man. He received his education from the wilderness. John the Baptist, Moses, and other excellent teachers that came before Jesus provided an educational foundation with the Holistic Method.
Everyday is our Christmas. Every meal is our Christmas. At every meal we take a little portion of the food we are eating, and we offer it to the spirit world on behalf of the four legged, and the winged, and the two legged. We pray--not the way most Christians pray-- but we thank the Grandfathers, the Spirit, and the Guardian Angel.
The Indian Culture is actually grounded in the traditions of a Roving Angel. The life-ways of Roving Angels are actually the way Indian People live. They hold out their hands and help the sick and the needy. They feed and clothe the poor. We have high respect for the avatar because we believe that it is in giving that we receive.
We are taught as Traditional children that we have abundance. The Creator has given us everything: the water, the air we breathe, the earth as our flesh, and our energy force: our heart. We are thankful every day. We pray early in the morning, before sunrise, the morning star, and the evening star. We pray for our relatives who are in the universe that someday they will come. We also pray that the Great Spirit's son will live again. To the Indian People Christmas is everyday and the don't believe in taking without asking. Herbs are prayed over before being gathered by asking the plant for permission to take some cuttings. An offer of tobacco is made to the plant in gratitude. We do not pull the herb out by its roots, but cut the plant even with the surface of the earth, so that another generation will be born its place.
It is really important that these ways never be lost. And to this day we feed the elders, we feed the family on Christmas day, we honor Saint Nicholas. We explain to the little children that to receive a gift is to enjoy it, and when the enjoyment is gone, they are pass it on to the another child, so that they, too, can enjoy it. If a child gets a doll, that doll will change hands about eight times in a year, from one child to another.
Everyday is Christmas in Indian Country. Daily living is centered around the spirit of giving and walking the Red Road. Walking the Red Road means making everything you do a spiritual act. If your neighbor, John Running Deer, needs a potato masher; and you have one that you are not using, you offer him yours in the spirit of giving. It doesn't matter if it is Christmas or not.
If neighbors or strangers stop over to visit at your house, we offer them dinner We bring out the T-Bone steak, not the cabbage. If we don't have enough, we send someone in the family out to get some more and mention nothing of the inconvenience to our guests. The more one gives, the more spiritual we become. The Christ Consciousness, the same spirit of giving that is present at Christmas, is present everyday in Indian Country.
Looks for Buffalo is an Oglala Sioux Spiritual Leader, the full-blood Oglala grandson of Chief Red Cloud and White Cow Killer, and a Cheyenne Oglala Leader. He resides on the Pine Ridge Reservation in SD;
Native American Prayer
Submited by: Emilia Walking
Oh Great Spirit
May we cherish the gifts of our creator
May we hold the beauty of the world close to our hearts
May we embrace the spirit of peace on earth
May there come to all people during this sacred season
an abundance of the earths greatest gifts:
health, happiness and enduring friendships
Native American Poem
Submited by: Gordon Elk
In a house which becomes a home,
one hands down and another takes up
the heritage of mind and heart,
laughter and tears, musings and deeds.
Love, like a carefully loaded ship,
crosses the gulf between the generations.
Therefore, we do not neglect the ceremonies
of our passage: when we wed, when we die,
and when we are blessed with a child;
When we depart and when we return;
When we plant and when we harvest.
Let us bring up our children. It is not
the place of some official to hand to them
If others impart to our children our knowledge
and ideals, they will lose all of us that is
wordless and full of wonder.
Let us build memories in our children,
lest they drag out joyless lives,
lest they allow treasures to be lost because
they have not been given the keys.
We live, not by things, but by the meanings
of things. It is needful to transmit the passwords
from generation to generation.
Native American Humor
Submitted by: RedHawk
You could be an Indian if:
You could be Indian if someone asks you for directions and you put aside your Commod grilled cheese sandwich and point the way with your lips.
You could be Indian if you take your car to Midas for a new muffler and they tell you first you need a new pipe to run from the engine to it
You could be Indian if you get into a verbal fight with the waiter at your local Mexican restaurant over----Sopapilla, or is it Fry Bread?
You could be Indian if you use commodity can labels for your art collage project
6. Your mail address is DancesWithModems@hotmail.com.
You could be Indian if your car starts with a screwdriver
You could be Indian if you put a "Free Peltier" sticker on your truck, and the FBI wiretaps your house
You could be Indian if you have more aunts and uncles than your grandparents had children.
You could be Indian if you attend a General Custer memorial dinner, and you wear an Arrow shirt
You could be Indian if as a young child, learning your ABC's was hard because you wondered what the joke was every time you heard "A" (AAAYE)
You could be Indian if your relative gets a nice jacket that you wish you had so say, "Geez Hey, I REEEAAALLLY like that Jacket." (and he gives it to you)
You could be Indian if you think that the Basic Food Groups are Spam, commodity cheese, frybread, and 7-Up
You could be Indian if your dance outfit is in a suitcase held together by duct tape and pow-wow bumper stickers
You could be Indian if your new History teacher is talking about a completely different Columbus then the one your old Cultural teacher taught you about
You could be Indian if you've ever 49'd, 69'd, then 86'd outta there.
You could be Indian if when looking in the classifieds, you can't find the 1-900-REZ GIRL ad
You could be Indian if when you meet your sweetheart and wonders if he/she knows how to cook frybread.
You could be Indian if you get a sense of nostalgia when you hear the song "Indian Car"
Suggest a Native American joke you would like to be included in future issues.
Native American Recipe
Submited by: Tracy
Ma's Caramel Rolls
4 loaves of frozen bread dough or your favorite yeast bread recipe
1 lb brown sugar
5 cups sweet cream or canned evaporated milk
1 stick butter or margarine
Cinnamon to taste
2 cups walnuts or pecans (optional)
3 tablespoon shortening or lard
* Thaw or prepare the dough in a very large container, let it rise in a warm place to triple its size (the top of a barely warm stove works good) and punch it and down several times.
* Prepare 3 cake pans (9 inch by 11 inch) by speading a light coat of shortning or lard on the insides of them.
* Put 1/2 cup of brown sugar, 1 cup of cream or evaporated milk, 1/2 cup of nuts and cinnamon to taste in the bottom of each pan and mix it around until they are all mixed evenly on the bottom of each pan.
* Divide the dough in half and spread it out on a lightly floured surface into 2 rectangles about 14 inches by 20 inches.
* Coat both pieces of dough with 1/2 stick butter or margarine, 1/2 cup brown sugar each and cinnamon to taste on only one side of the dough then sprinkle 1/2 cup of nuts on top of of each piece of them.
* Beginning on the long edge of the dough, start rolling the dough up somewhat firmly into a long log and pinch the edges and ends to make it hold together, then roll the whole log of dough until it is about 3 inches thick.
* Slice the log into 1 inch to 1 1/2 inch slices and place them into the pan on top of the cream mixture.
* Sprinkle the top of the rolls in the pan with another 1/2 cup brown sugar, cinnamon to taste and carefully ladle or spoon more cream on the top of each roll until the cream level reaches the top edges of the rolls in the pan. (Make sure that you pour the cream or evaporated milk so that it soaks down into the creases of each roll)
* Cover the rolls in the pans with a cheese cloth or dishtowel and put in a warm place until they double in size.
* Bake in a pre-heated oven at 375-degree oven for 35 minutes. Check the progress of the rolls every ten minutes and if they try to rise out of the pan, use a wooden spoon to pat them back down into place.
* Carefully remove the pans from oven using oven mitts and set them on a heat resistant surface. Run the tip of a knife around the edges and flip the pans upside down onto lightly greased cookie sheets or wax paper. Then lift the pans to remove the rolls. Let cool slightly and enjoy. *Optional(If you use lightly greased cookie sheets you can put then back in the oven for 10 more minutes to turn them to a rich golden brown. This also helps the mixture to carmelize better)
Traditional Christmas Greeting: "Merry Christmas" in English and "Joyeux Noel" in French
Location: North America
Tree Type: Cultural
Decorations: The maritime provinces of New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island are represented by the lighthouse, trawler, lobster, fish, and lobster trap. The cowboy boots, covered wagon, grain elevator, Mounties and log cabin stand for the prairie provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, while the trillium flower stands for the province of Ontario.
The teepee, igloo, totem canoe, papoose and dolls symbolize the native people of Canada, and the sled, skates, broom, stone and snowshoes represent Canada's popular winter sports. The polar bear, loon, Canadian goose, horse, and moose symbolize Canada's winters. The planes, trains, and snowmobiles stand for the successful transportation industry.
Finally, Quebec's winter carnival is represented by the "Bonne Hommes de Niege," a wreath with three figures called "Good Men of the Snow."
Traditions: Public parks and buildings across Canada are traditionally lit for the holidays at the same moment: 6:55 on the first Thursday in December. This tradition began in 1986 and is one uniting aspect of the country's many Christmas celebrations.
Tourtiore, a meat pie made from pork, potatoes and onions, is served on Christmas Eve in many parts of French Canada. In Vancouver, Christmas is preceded by two weeks of caroling from children's choirs on ships parading through the harbor. The waterfront is decorated with thousands of lights and becomes a festive place for the holidays.
Quebec's Christmas rituals end on January 6th with the "Fete du Roi," the Party of the King. At this party, slices of cake are handed out and family members search for the bean that has been baked into one of them as they eat. The person to find it is crowned king or queen for the day.
Traditional Christmas Greeting: "Merry Christmas"
Tree Type: Traditional/Cultural Tree
* Christmas Crackers
* Christmas Boxes
* Toy Soldiers
Traditional: The sugar mice are a traditional treat. These mice came from England in a most unusual way. The woman who decorated the museum tree found herself on a talk show in London and made an appeal for donated sugar mice and to her surprise she received over 100 mice that are on the museum tree.
The Christmas tree did not come to England until 1841 when Prince Albert had a Christmas Tree brought in and decorated in Windsor Castle for his wife Queen Victoria and their children. The tradition caught on. Throughout the United Kingdom, December 26th Boxing Day or St. Stephen's day signals the beginning of the 12 days of Christmas. On December 26th the alms or poor boxes were traditionally opened and the funds were distributed to the poor. It is also the day that servants are given off to celebrate Christmas with their families. Also on this day working people would open up their tip boxes. For the next twelve days there are parties, pantomime shows (children's plays-musicals about well-know fairy tales. Audience participation is greatly encouraged) and other types of entertainment which ends on January 6th.
The first known Christmas card was mailed in the 1840's in England. Most of the Christmas traditions we practice today actually had their roots in nineteenth century Victorian England. Charles Dickens might be considered responsible for planting these ideals in America through his writings-especially A Christmas Carol.
In England Santa is called Father Christmas. Father Christmas is a descendant of an ancient pagan spirit (Hern) who appeared in the mummer's plays. He has long, white hair and beard and he dresses in a long green or red robe that is decorated with Holly, Ivy and Mistletoe. On his head he wears a wreath made of the same plants. Legend states that Father Christmas originally dropped coins down the chimneys and that the coins would be lost if there were no stockings hung up on the mantle or at the edge of the bed. Children send letters to Father Christmas by burning them up in the fireplace. It is thought that the requests are carried to Father Christmas in the smoke. On Christmas Eve it is traditional to leave a carrot out for the reindeer and mince pies, brandy or other warming drinks for Father Christmas. On Christmas morning, the children will open gifts from their stockings and later the presents under the tree are open.
On the Christmas dinner table are noisemakers called crackers. Tom Smith invented these traditional favors in 1850, as a way of selling more of his confections. Crackers are wrapped in fancy paper at each end there are pull-tabs. When the tabs are pulled a loud noise or crack with some sparks is produced. Inside the cracker there may be a paper hat, a toy and some candy. In most English homes when the crackers are open, you must put on the hat and enjoy the contents of the cracker.
Christmas celebrations differ greatly between the regions of the United States due to the variety of nationalities who have settled there. Generally, cities, towns and villages are adorned with sparkling lights and colorful decorations. Store windows are full of enticing gifts and people decorate their homes and lawns with festive lights and decorated trees. Many churches and houses put up a creche or tableau of the Nativity scene. For weeks prior to the holiday, people begin to prepare for the festivities. Gifts are bought or made and wrapped with brightly colord paper and ribbons. Greeting cards and gift packages are sent to friends and family, and some practice in church choirs or rehearse Christmas plays. On Christmas Day, families traditionally gather to exchange presents, although some people exchange their gifts on Christmas Eve. The Christmas meal is usually served in the afternoon and usually features turkey, chicken, duck, goose or ham.
According to Muslem religion, in the ninth month of the Muslim calendar when the full moon appears, the Ramadan fast begins. During the next month, the Muslem people will fast from food, drink and smoking from sunrise to sunset. These hours are spent in the mosques praying. The prophet Mohammed taught that fasting and prayer quiets the spirit and disciplines the soul.
On the evening of the 27th day of the month of Ramadan, Muslems celebrate the "Night of Power" (Laylat-al-Qadr). It is believed that on this night, Mohammad received the revelation of the Holy Koran and this is the night that God determines the course of the world for the coming year.
As the month of Ramadan draws to a close, the Muslem community searches the sky for the next full moon. When the full moon is sighted, a great shout rises from the community along with the beating of drums to usher in the three-day festival of Eid- (happiness) Ul-Fitr (breaking the fast).
On the first morning of Eid-ul-Fitr, families begin their day at the mosques (Masjid). As the priest call out "Allah is Great". The worshipers bend forward on their prayer mats raise their hands high and press their heads against the ground. Then they greet everyone saying "Eid Mubarak" (Happiness to everyone). After returning from the mosque, the families gather for their first midday meal in a month. The meal includes lamb, goat, spicy vegetables and thin noodles cooked with milk, sugar and coconut (Saiwiyan). For dessert there is candy made of ground nuts, honey sesame seeds and grated cheese.
These three days are work holidays. This time is spent with the families. The children receive presents of new clothes either hand made or store bought. Girls wear bangles on their wrists and paint red designs on their hands. There are fairs and special holiday shops. In the evening there are fireworks displays. On the last day of the celebration, families visit relatives and friends. The children receive gifts and coins on this day.
From the Old English 'Cristes Mæsse' ~ meaning the 'mass of Christ' ~ the story of Christmas begins with the birth of a babe in Bethlehem.
It is believed that Christ was born on the 25th, although the exact month is unknown. December was likely chosen so the Catholic Church could compete with rival pagan rituals held at that time of year and because of its closeness with the winter solstice in the Northern hemisphere, a traditional time of celebration among many ancient cultures.
Luke, Chapter Two
And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed. (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David) To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, "Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger." And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men."
The origin of Santa Claus begins in the 4th century with Saint Nicholas, Bishop of Myra, an area in present day Turkey. By all accounts St. Nicholas was a generous man, particularly devoted to children. After his death around 340 A.D. he was buried in Myra, but in 1087 Italian sailors purportedly stole his remains and removed them to Bari, Italy, greatly increasing St. Nicholas' popularity throughout Europe.
His kindness and reputation for generosity gave rise to claims he that he could perform miracles and devotion to him increased. St. Nicholas became the patron saint of Russia, where he was known by his red cape, flowing white beard, and bishop's mitre.
In Greece, he is the patron saint of sailors, in France he was the patron of lawyers, and in Belgium the patron of children and travellers. Thousands of churches across Europe were dedicated to him and some time around the 12th century an official church holiday was created in his honor. The Feast of St. Nicholas was celebrated December 6 and the day was marked by gift-giving and charity.
After the Reformation, European followers of St. Nicholas dwindled, but the legend was kept alive in Holland where the Dutch spelling of his name Sint Nikolaas was eventually transformed to Sinterklaas. Dutch children would leave their wooden shoes by the fireplace, and Sinterklaas would reward good children by placing treats in their shoes. Dutch colonists brought brought this tradition with them to America in the 17th century and here the Anglican name of Santa Claus emerged.
In 1822 Clement C. Moore composed the poem A Visit From Saint Nicholas, published as The Night Before Christmas as a gift for his children. In it, he portrays Santa Claus:
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook when he laughed, like a bowl full of jelly,
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.
Other countries feature different gift-bearers for the Christmas or Advent season: La Befana in Italy ~ The Three Kings in Spain, Puerto Rico, and Mexico ~ Christkindl or the Christ Child in Switzerland and Austria ~ Father Christmas in England ~ and Pere Noël, Father Christmas or the Christ Child in France. Still, the figure of Santa Claus as a jolly, benevolent, plump man in a red suit described in Moore's poem remains with us today and is recognized by children and adults alike around the world.
Read even more abou christmas traditions andt Santa Claus
In 16th-century Germany fir trees were decorated, both indoors and out, with apples, roses, gilded candies, and colored paper. In the Middle Ages, a popular religous play depicted the story of Adam and Eve's expulsion from the Garden of Eden.
A fir tree hung with apples was used to symbolize the Garden of Eden -- the Paradise Tree. The play ended with the prophecy of a saviour coming, and so was often performed during the Advent season.
It is held that Protestant reformer Martin Luther first adorned trees with light. While coming home one December evening, the beauty of the stars shining through the branches of a fir inspired him to recreate the effect by placing candles on the branches of a small fir tree inside his home
The Christmas Tree was brought to England by Queen Victoria's husband, Prince Albert from his native Germany. The famous Illustrated News etching in 1848, featuring the Royal Family of Victoria, Albert and their children gathered around a Christmas tree in Windsor Castle, popularized the tree throughout Victorian England. Brought to America by the Pennsylvania Germans, the Christmas tree became by the late 19th century.
n the 15th and 16th centuries, German tradesmen began to hold parties where a spruce was placed inside a home. Another story tells of how the German theologian and reformer, Martin Luther, put candles on the leaves as symbols of the stars twinkling among the forest’s trees. In the 17th century, the tradition of decorated Christmas trees in connection with festivities spread out to the German towns, and from there, to other parts of Europe.
Even if the first Christmas tree in the USA, perhaps, can be traced all the way back to 1777, Christmas trees did not become popular in the USA until the middle of the 18th century. An image of the English royal family standing in front of a Christmas tree was copied and brought to the USA in 1850. This resulted in the American upper classes embracing the Christmas tree. In the following decades, the tradition of Christmas trees in living rooms became popular among the rest of the population.
Today, the lighting of the United States’ National Christmas Tree has become a major event. The tree is located south of the White House in Washington D.C. In fact, it has already become an important symbol for the nation for many years now. In 1979, President Jimmy Carter only lit the top star on the tree in honor of the American hostages in Iran.
Originally posted by sizzle
Being that ATS is a multi-cultural society within itself, I wanted this topic to encompass as many different Christmas traditions as each person cares to submit.
This ceremony portrays what happened in the Underworld before the Hopi people
emerged, and what they did to get out. Tradition says that the C,wa-gwan-da played the
most important part then, and that is why they still do in the ceremony.
SOL-YA-LANG-BU: After this ceremony is over, they again watch the sun on the
western horizon. They just know on a certain day that it will take the sun eight days to
reach its most southern point, and they announce the ceremony for eight days ahead. Thus
Sol-yalang-eu (So-ya-luna of Fewkes ) , the Prayer-Offering Ceremony, is the Winter
Solstice Ceremony, an,] takes place in December. When initiation is held for the young
boys, the, ceremony lasts eight days, otherwise only four. Now, many men only go into the
kivas, to which they belong, on the next to the last day. With them they take plaques,
feather material, cotton string, and whatever paint they are going to use. They work all day
making as many prayer stick, or pahos as they can. The next morning about dawn they take
their prayer offerings out and distribute them to their families, kin relatives, and friends,
with their best wishes. Those who receive the pahos take them out toward the daylight and
plant them, asking for lifelong prosperity. When this is done they realize that the new year
is beginning, and everyone watches the western horizon to see if the sun starts back toward
This is one of the most sacred ceremonies of the Hopi. It is a day of good will, when
wishes for prosperity and health, for his family and friends.
1. The Hispanic celebration of Las Posadas begins on December 15. For 9 nights, families in hispanic communities go to a host home (a different house every night). The home represents a posada, an inn, where travelers stay. Some people go inside to be innkeepers, the others stay outside as peregrinos or pilgrims. The inn is decorated with luminaries to light the travelers' way. Special songs and recitations are performed outside until the pilgrims are invited inside for more singing and eating holiday foods.
(The Seven Principles)
To strive for and maintain unity in the family, community, nation and race.
To define ourselves, name ourselves, create for ourselves and speak for ourselves.
Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility)
To build and maintain our community together and make our brother's and sister's problems our problems and to solve them together.
Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics)
To build and maintain our own stores, shops and other businesses and to profit from them together.
To make our collective vocation the building and developing of our community in order to restore our people to their traditional greatness.
To do always as much as we can, in the way we can, in order to leave our community more beautiful and beneficial than we inherited it.
To believe with all our heart in our people, our parents, our teachers, our leaders and the righteousness and victory of our struggle.