The article ‘What they know about their culture’ in the Children’s Times of Wednesday’s October 17th,2012 paper, left me mesmerized how students of Groupe Scolaire Kimisagara appreciated their culture and how they are proud to be Rwandan. In the same article, 15-year-old Nadia Uwiduhaye said, “the words in the National Anthem clearly portray our standards and the value of our culture.”
The above statement reminded me of how our National anthem portrays our great heritage and rich culture. It basically unifies the Rwandan culture. For example, the second stanza of the National anthem states that ‘ Umuco dusangiye uraturanga, Ururimi rwacu rukaduhuza , Ubwenge, umutima,amaboko yacu Nibigukungahaze bikwiye Nuko utere imbere ubutitsa ,literally meaning ‘ our common culture identifies us, our single language unifies us, that our intelligence, our conscience and our forces, fill you with varied riches, for an unceasingly renewed development.’
However, if someone went to the streets and decided to pay anyone who could sing all the four stanzas of our national anthem, several people would leave penniless.
I’m not trying to criticise anyone here but I’m just being realistic and also letting people know the essence of knowing your own culture and appreciating it. I learnt to sing all the stanzas of the national anthem from my 5-year-old cousin when the song came out in 2001. The way he sang it was so hilarious that I had to learn it and perfect it so that I could correct him every time he made a mistake.
Those are the things that people take for granted but it’s really humiliating when you are asked to sing your national anthem in a conference or some kind of training and you are speechless. Then you proudly say you are a citizen of your country, it will look like a joke to many. For example a lot of angry comments on media and social sites were witnessed during the London 2012 Olympics when Captain Ryan Giggs and fellow Welshman Craig Bellamy, Neil Taylor and Joe Allen stood silent when their national anthem was sung during the first British men’s football match.
I don’t think anyone loses anything if they take time to learn their own national anthem and claiming you are too old to learn it is simply a lame excuse.