Culture can be affected both negatively and positively; therefore new media can impact our norms and traits in the same way. There are several ways in which new media technologies have promoted our culture.
People in all parts of the world can trace the Rwandan way of dancing thanks to television, videography and the internet where one can download the various troupes dancing (Itorero) on Youtube.
Several tourists that come to Rwanda usually capture the extraordinary moments which they share with their family and friends when they go back home thus media can be used in cultural exchange and its related advantages.
Just like any other feature of life, the media has somehow negatively affected Rwandan culture. I was lucky to grow up with my grandparents around. They used to tell us all about Rwandan fairytales and legends as they were refugees.
These stories had sad songs and at times humorous ones too, that were extremely memorable. Till this day, I understand that the aim of these stories was to make sure we never forgot where we came from.
However, with the advances in media today, the future of our culture is uncertain because children grow up admiring the people they see in movies and music videos. As if this isn’t bad enough, young mothers tend to name their sons and daughters after their favorite movie stars or celebrities.
Other than taking on names, children spend more time on computers playing games than they do spending quality time with their parents learning about culture. The best way a child can learn about culture is through the stories told by elderly people. Some of them might be myths but they have a great impact on a child’s life.
I almost suffered cardiac arrest when my four-year-old niece rapped along to Sean Paul’s Gat to Love you while watching the music video. I wondered how she learned the lyrics but later discovered that the baby sitter usually leaves her watching television while she does her chores.
It’s everyone’s initiative to preserve culture even though it’s bound to change. Let’s not allow new things to entirely wipe out what our forefathers worked so hard to protect and maintain.