28 January 2013

Rwanda: Embracing Our Identity, Celebrating Our Culture


Speaking last week at the swearing in ceremony of new prosecutors and a member of the Rwandan Academy of Languages and Culture, the Prime Minister Dr. Pierre Damien Habumuremyi stressed the need to preserve our culture, including maintaining the dignity of the Kinyarwanda language.

To ensure this, the government has already put in place a ministry in charge of culture and the Rwandan Academy of Languages and Culture. This is mainly to preserve our culture for the sake of our future generations, which cannot be over-emphasised.

Preservation of our culture is a pertinent issue that all Rwandans must take seriously by supporting the efforts of the two key institutions charged with this key role.

The world is now a global village as a result of technological development.

Much as this has a positive impact, it presents key challenges as well.

The greatest challenge lies with the erosion of our traditional values and cultural identity.

We have started to witness Western and, at times, unacceptable 'values' being adopted, by especially the country's youth, in the name of modernity.

The question that comes to mind is how we would preserve our culture and values. Parents, schools and village elders obviously have a role to play. They all ought to preserve our culture as this is the very basis of any country's identity.

The ministries of Culture, Education and all stakeholders should strengthen campaigns geared towards preserving our country's traditional culture.

The culture ministry and Rwandan Academy of Languages and Culture need to come up with clear strategy on this matter.

Among other things, individuals and institutions involved in documenting our culture need to obtain the necessary support.

Also, schools should not appear to relegate our language and culture to the periphery.

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