Languages The official languages that are spoken in the Republic of Rwanda include: French, English, Kinyarwanda, and Swahili. Consisting of more than 12 million speakers, Kinyarwanda, a Bantu ethnic language, is spoken in various countries such as: Rwanda, Uganda, the Demographic of Congo.
The ethnic Kinyarwanda language is the primary ethnic language in the country. The Tutsi, Hutu, and Twa ethnic groups speak the language. After close interactions among these three ethnic groups, Kinyarwanda developed as their cultural identity in the 15th century. Kinyarwandan is the most commonly spoken national language in the nation, constituting approximately 93% of the population.
The language is also used as a means of instruction in administration, commerce, media, and institutions. Because Rwanda was a Belgian colony, French was adopted as an official language. Despite this, only approximately 0.1% of the population speak the language. The French language was replaced slowly by English, as a result of the genocide of 1994 affecting the status of the French language. The French involvement in the Rwandan genocide caused the Rwandans to remove themselves completely from French influences. In the Republic of Rwanda, English is the third official language constituting approximately 0.2% of the population.
In the 20th century English became an official language, and, in 2008, it was introduced to the school system. In order to align Rwanda with the East African community, and to break free from French influences the nation transitioned from French to English. Furthermore, through the use of English, English speaking country’s foreign investors increased. Currently in Rwandese institutions, English is the primary language used as a means of instruction.
As of February 2017, the Rwandan government established Swahili as an official language in the country. As a request by the East African community, the Rwandan government adopted Swahili as an official language. The Swahili language is expected to be used in official documents and administrative functions, as well as the curriculum as a compulsory subject. Religion The six major religions constituting Rwanda include: Roman Catholic Christianity, Protestant Christianity, other forms of Christianity, Islam, Atheism or Agnosticism, and African folk belief. Roman Catholicism along side Protestantism and other types of Christianity are the largest religious beliefs of Rwanda accounting for 96.3% of the population. Roman Catholicism is the largest religious group, followed by 46.5% of the population, and it was first introduced to Rwandans when the nation became a part of German East Africa.
Furthermore, in Rwanda, Protestantism is the second largest religion and Christian group, which is constituted by about 45.4% of the population. After World War One, Belgian Protestant missionaries entered the country as a result of Belgium gaining control of the territory of Ruanda-Urundi. As a result, Protestantism gained headway in Rwanda and surrounding areas in the 1930s. Additionally, the other forms of Christianity combine to represent about 4.4% of Rwanda’s population making it the third largest religious belief in Rwanda.
The Jehovah’s Witnesses are the most noteworthy and persecuted group that constitute these other types of Christianity. In the country, Islam is the fourth largest religion, having about 1.8% of the population practicing it. Sunni Islam is followed by most of the Muslims in the country. It is thought to have arrived in the nation from the East Coast of Africa through the help of Muslim traders around the 18th century. However, it was not until the late 19th century when it became a prominent part of Rwanda. The amount of people in Rwanda who are either agnostics or atheists constitute approximately 1.8% of the country’s population.
In Rwanda, agnostics and atheists are not counted officially, and there is also an ignominy attached to not practicing a religion in the highly religious country. Since the end of the genocide, the amount of people who claim they are agnostic or atheist. In Rwanda, the amount of people who follow African folk beliefs composes approximately 0.1% of the nation’s population. Only about a handful of people in Rwanda practice African folk beliefs, however a plethora of followers from other religions in Rwanda include traditional elements into their practices. Of the African folk beliefs, the predominant African Folk belief is the belief of a principal being known as Imaana, and other minor deities. The belief also includes communication with these deities, via the spirits of ancestors.
Ethnicity The three predominant ethnic groups in Rwanda include: the Hutu, Tutsi, and Twa people. In the regions of the African Great Lakes in Rwanda, Burundi, and some portions of the Demographic Republic of Congo the Hutu ethnic group is centralized. In Rwanda, it is the ethnic majority, consisting of about 84% of the population according to the 2015 census.
In West Africa, as a result of the Bantu’s great expansion, the Hutu immigrated into the Great Lakes region. The ethnic group’s native tongue is Rwanda-Bundu, which is separated into two categories Kirundi and Kinyarwanda. These two languages constitute Burundi and Rwanda, respectively, as their official languages.
Originating as a sub-ethnic group from Banyarwanda, the Tutsi, are centralized in Burundi and Rwanda. In Rwanda, the Tutsi account for about 15% of the population, making it the second largest ethnic group. The Tutsi are divided into two groups. In Northern Rwanda, the Tutsi are referred to as Ruguru, meanwhile Hima is used as the term to depict Tutsi living in Southern Burundi. For over 400 years, the Tutsi have resided in Rwanda, and have intermarried with the Hutu.
Rwanda-Rundi is the Tutsis native language, that is composed of Kirundi and Kinyarwanda. Additionally, French is spoken as an additional language. Of the Great Lakes region, the Twa people are the longest surviving currently inhabiting Uganda, Burundi Rwanda, and portions of the Democratic Republic of Congo as Bantu caste. In Rwanda, they compose approximately 1% of the nation’s population.
The Twa are semi-nomadic hunters and gatherers. The ethnic group appeared in the nation during the 15th century AD around the same time as the Hutu. The Twa people were forced out of their homes in the mountains, due to agriculture’s expansion, as well as loggining’s increase. As a result, the Twa People have been isolated, and have little to no access to fundamental services such as schooling, and they also undergo discrimination and prejudice because of their insignificant ancestry.
Culture The traditional dress used by Rwandese female is known as Umushanana which is crafted from the skin of animals and bark cloth. The clothing includes a lengthy skirt that completely conceals the legs, as well as a ribbon that is wrapped over a single shoulder so that it can be worn as a blouse. The cultural male clothing is composed of beads worn around the neck and a skirt that wraps around the waist.Ibitoke – sweet potatoes, beans, bananas, cassava, Isombe, and posho are the primary dishes Rwandans. Rwandans near large bodies of water, Lake Kivu for example, eat commonly caught species of fish including: mud fish and tilapia.
Goat meat, pork, and beef are additionally typically consumed as roasted or stew. Due to the fact that a multitude of Rwandans are skilled cattle keepers, many Rwandans manufacture milk that is fermented in a manner that produces Ghee and Ikivuguto. Rwandans also possess a great deal of artistic skill that is conveyed in the form of handcrafts including: woven papyrus mats and baskets, clay pots, wood carvings, art pictorials, jewelry, and other forms of handcrafts. These handcrafts can be found in craft villages including: Rwanda Nziza, Ivuka art center, Caplaki craft village, and other craft villages.
In Rwanda, each of the regions are notable for their unique crafts despite the crafts being manufactured throughout the country. For example, the southeastern region is well known for its production of Imigongo, which is manufactured from a mixture of a cow’s feces as well as various authentic soils that are painted into decorative folds. Most of Rwanda’s festivas are focused on the country’s rich culture and the arts. Some of Rwanda’s Film Festivals include the Rwandan Mini Film Festival and the Hillywood Film Festival. The Rwandan Mini Film Festival is held annually every March, and allows amateur filmmakers around Rwanda to showcase their talents. The Hillywood Film Festival is aimed at showcasing Rwanda’s growing film industry in hopes that it will one day be similar to the industry in Nigeria.
The festival highlights the talents of filmmakers from across the African continent every July. Another interesting festival worth attending is the Gorilla Naming Ceremony which is held every June in Kiningi. During the Rwandan Genocide across the extent of three months in 1994, approximately 800,000 Tutsis and Hutus were killed. As a result, April 7th is officially referred to as the “Day of Remembrance of the Victims of the Rwandan Genocide” by the United Nations. On this day Rwandans honor the deaths of the 800,000 people who died during the Rwandan Genocide. Candle-lighting and a minute of silence is a common way in which many people across the globe commemorate the Rwandans who passed during the genocide.
In Rwanda, dance, drama performances, and music are frequent actions performed during social gatherings, festivals, and marriage ceremonies. The Rwandese have two major cultural dances that include the Intore, that motivates fighters and hunter, and Inkinimba, that is conducted by farmers in an attempt to celebrate their harvest. The dance, Inkinimba, is additionally executed to tell tales of Rwanda’s culture, history, or to praise notable Rwandan heroes that have perished. Throughout all these traditional presentations, the Rwandans orchestrate instruments such as: Amakonder, Inanga, Ingoma, and Onigiri. The hill, defined as a group of families that live in unison on a hill, was originally a principal social and political unit. Each hill was lead by a chief that relayed the population to the monarch. These chief establishments were abolished in the 1960s, however the effects of it still linger and can be seen most in individual family enclosure that are encircled by groves from bananas and fields dispersed across hillsides.
In Rwanda, agricultural work is heavily divided between men and women, where men clear the land and assist women in breaking the soil to be able to plant crops, meanwhile women work on the simpler and easier farming activities, such as planting, weeding, and harvesting. Additionally, men do the weighty labors around the home, construction for example, while women are primarily responsible for stereotypical female jobs such as: preserving the household, raising children, and cooking food. Furthermore, the status of men and women in society is also divided. In addition, women in Rwanda have little to no positions in government as well as limited economic power. As a result, many women’s associations have tried to raise women’s status in Rwanda, but to no avail.Picture of Native DressesThe Female Rwandan traditional dress, Umushanana, consists of a wrapper piece with a short piece of cloth that hangs over the shoulder worn with a tight strapless top. It is commonly worn by younger and older women alike at introduction ceremonies or other official ceremonies. Picture of Native ArtIn Rwanda, ceramics, basketry, contemporary paintings, traditional wood carvings, and constitute the nation’s cultural handcrafts.