14 June 2011

Rwanda: Cultural Tourism Drive to Be Launched Today

Nyanza — The Institute of National Museums of Rwanda (INMR) will today launch a cultural tourism campaign at the Nyanza Palace, Rukari, in the Southern Province.

The move is aimed at reviving the country's heritage and wooing both local and international tourists to visit the country's national museums.

The Ancient Historical Museum at Rukari, Nyanza was once the residence of King Mutara III Rudahingwa.

According to the Director INMR, Alphonse B. Umullisa, Rwandans are missing out by ignoring their own culture.

"The launch will be characterised by cultural activities that are quite entertaining. For instance, it's breathtaking to see the 'Inyambo' dance," Umullisa disclosed in an interview with The New Times.

He added that through the program, 'Irembo Ritaha Inyamibwa', the rare local breed of cows commonly known as Inyambo, were trained to parade.

In the Rwandan culture, a cow is a sign of wealth used to pay dowry and to strengthen friendship among families.

According to Umullisa, cultural tourism will provide jobs to the community. He cited that cultural dance troupes and a number of elders with special skills to train cows would be able to earn a living through their specialised activities.

Athanase Sibomana, a presenter on Contact FM, and considered an expert on traditional matters, said that culture is a strong bond that ties the people of a region or community together.

"Tourism is a culture itself. For someone to attracted to visit a place, there should be something rare and beautiful to offer. Our history and culture are unique," says Sibomana.

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