I’m in love with our culture. As someone who was raised in the Diaspora, I feel that my appreciation of what makes us ‘Rwandans’ is extremely solid. Everything about what makes us stand out as a people- our dance, our character traits and other various quirks give me pride in who I am.
In a nutshell, I love the positive things about our culture, and accept the negative things as things that make us different from any other group of people on earth.
However, do I think that our culture should influence of laws? No. For, while our culture might be something we are proud of, what happens when what we deem ‘culture’ becomes a roadblock to someone’s happiness?
That is why I was extremely pleased to read in yesterdays issue of The New Times that the parliament had chosen not to criminalise homosexuality despite the fact that many people deemed that act ‘against our culture’.
Well, female emancipation would have been deemed un-cultural a few decades back. In fact, my grandmother still refuses to eat some types of food because she still believes that they are ‘taboo’.
That’s the problem with culture; it isn’t a static phenomenon but rather changes with the generation.
Therefore, I urge the lawmakers to be careful, as they legislate, just in case these laws are a manifestation of their individual prejudices.