Rwanda Cultural Experiences, Discovering the lifestyles of Rwandan people
Rwanda cultural experiences are very diversified and it has a unified state since pre-colonial times unlike many countries in Africa. It not only includes the population of Rwanda but also Kinyarwanda speaking people in the neighboring states particularly Uganda and Congo. The Republic of Rwanda is characterized by a number of Rwanda cultural experiences and traditional practices and beliefs due to the existence of several tribes in the country such as the Hutu, Tutsi, Twa, people. On your visit to Rwanda, don’t miss out touring the Ibyiwacu cultural village situated in Musanze province – Volcanoes national park. Here you will learn first hard about the different existing tribes of Rwanda through local music, dance and drama, poetry, legends/ folktales, pottery, and many other cultural displays. In this phenomenon, visitors get to learn about the dressing code used, cooking methods and main meals, hunting skills, etc. and the way of living in their homesteads. Read more additional cultural experiences to come across in Rwanda.
Music, Dance and Entertainment Experiences in Rwanda
Music and dance are an integral part of Rwandan ceremonies, festivals, social gatherings, and storytelling. The most famous traditional dance is Intore, a highly choreographed routine consisting of three components – the ballet, performed by women; the dance of heroes, performed by men, and the drums. Traditionally, music is transmitted orally with styles varying between the social groups. Drums are of great importance, the royal drummers having enjoyed high status within the court of the Mwami. Drummers usually play together in groups of seven or nine. The country has a growing popular music industry, influenced by East African, Congolese and American music. The most popular genre is hip hop, with a blend of rap with raga, R&B and dance-pop. Popular local artists include The Ben and Meddy, both of whom have won awards.
Rwanda Cultural Expenses- The Language used in Rwanda
Kinyarwanda is the official and largely spoken language by most Rwandans and the other wider language mainly is French, English, and Swahili. When dealing with their main trading partners in East Africa, Rwandans make use of English and Swahili. Well educated individuals however often speak fluent French and many migrants who returned home after the genocide from Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania or the USA tend to speak English more. Rwandans are very pleased when visitors try to speak their mother tongue (Kinyarwanda).
Speaking a few words like ‘amakuru’ (how are you) or ‘Muraho’ (good day) gets them excited.
The Traditional Art and Crafts Industry in Rwanda
African crafts can best be seen and viewed from the various existing market places, craft villages, craft shops, and several art galleries within Kigali mostly and different hotels in the different national parks. These creative pieces are usually from ceramics, basketry, wood carvings, and paintings. As you visit and tour Rwanda, there are various crafts centers from which the Rwandan traditional handicrafts can be viewed or obtained as souvenirs and these include the Gahaya Agaseke basket weaving site, Nyakarambi – Imigongo (cow dung paintings) site, CAPLAKI Craft Village, Ivuka Arts, Inganzo Gallery, African Gift Corner, Ishyo Cultural Centre, ATRAC Craft Village and Uburanga Art Studio, etc. When visiting these sites, its best to move with changed dollars to make your purchasing process easy and by buying these products, you are promoting and conserving the tourism industry as people are shunned away from activities that hinder the ecosystems like poaching.
Rwanda People, Culture and their beliefs
Christianity has become a central part of the country with over two-thirds of Rwandans Christians, mainly Catholic although smaller evangelical churches are getting popular of late. However, quite a large number of Rwandans still hold to traditional beliefs and these center around a supreme being they refer to as the ‘Imana”. Informal ceremonies are still held to ask for Imana’s blessing.
There is a common belief that “Imana helps in the creation of children inside the wombs of their mothers by shaping the clay which forms us; so women sometimes are known to leave a few drops of water in a jar at night which the potter will use to work the clay.”
Rwanda cultural experiences, marriage is considered the most basic social institution and the pressure to marry and have children is quite high. Most couples today have the leverage to select their own mates unlike in the past though, family approval is still expected.
Women and men share the agricultural work where men clear the land and also break the soil as the women engage in most of the daily farming activities such as planting, weeding as well as harvesting. Overseeing livestock is a primary responsibility of the men who are assisted by the youth who serve as shepherds. Men also engage in heavy jobs around the house like construction as the women prepare the food, maintain the household and raise the children.
Rwanda people and their staple food (Cuisine)
Historically, the cuisine for the Rwandan people often varied among the country’s different ethnic groups. Rwandan staples include bananas, plantains (known as ibitoke), pulses, sweet potatoes, beans, and cassava (manioc). For those who live near lakes and have access to fish, tilapia is popular. The potato, thought to have been introduced to Rwanda by German and Belgian colonialists, is now also very popular. Ugali (or bugali) is a paste made from cassava or maize and water, to form a porridge-like consistency that is eaten throughout East Africa. Isombe is made from mashed cassava leaves and served with dried fish. Lunch is usually a buffet known as mélange, consisting of the above staples and possibly meat. Brochette is the most popular food when eating out in the evening, usually made from goat, but sometimes tripe, beef, pork or fish.
Rwanda People and their favorite drinks
In rural areas, many bars have a brochette seller responsible for tending and slaughtering the goats, skewering and barbecuing the meat, and serving it with grilled bananas. Milk, particularly in a fermented form called ikivuguto, is a common drink throughout the country. Other drinks include a traditional beer called urwagwa, made from sorghum or bananas, which features in traditional rituals and ceremonies. Commercial beers brewed in Rwanda include Primus, Mützig, and Amstel.
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