Youth’s perception on culture is essential

How the youth perceive their culture and norms is important because the future generations depend on it.
Doreen Umutesi
Doreen Umutesi

How the youth perceive their culture and norms is important because the future generations depend on it.

With the current generation embracing the western culture more than their local culture, there is need to sensitise them on why acceptance and protection of their indigenous culture is important.

When the youth are proud of their culture and their history, it’s an indicator that they will pass on the knowledge to the next generation. Their involvement in cultural activities and events equips them with life skills that they cannot learn elsewhere.  

Its highly likely that information about the Rwandan culture will fade out if not taught in schools or practiced by family members.

I once interviewed an elder regarding cultural traits and its essence among the youth and he come close to tears. His argument was that a few of them are knowledgeable about Rwanda’s cultural heritage and yet they are also aging and discouraged that several youth are disinterested in what their forefathers and rich history have to offer.

As much as he understood that a few cultural practices are bound to change given that culture is progressive, entirely abandoning our heritage is not an option, as it is what makes Rwandans unique from the rest of the world.

English or French can be spoken in any place around the world but when one speaks Kinyarwanda, with the right intonation, they are definitely traced back to Rwanda regardless of where they are.  

The best alternative of interesting the youth in culture is by teaching them through oral practice and entailing them with literature about the ancient cultural practices.

The first story I heard about Rwanda was when I was eight years old. My grandfather told me that we were in a foreign land and one day would go back home.  He narrated the story about ‘Nkunda’ (the glutton). At first, the story was hilarious and I enjoyed listening to it. After telling me the story, he told me that the story contains lessons regarding etiquette in society; one of them was avoiding greed and learning to share the little I have since sharing is an important element of the Rwandan culture.  

Therefore, this only emphasizes the need to promote activities such as storytelling and reading literature as ways to enhance the youth’s knowledge about culture.


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