Kwibuka21: Rwandans in Denmark, Canada commemorate

Rwandans living in Jylland and Fyn in Denmark as well as those in Hamilton, a Canadian port city, last weekend gathered at different venues to commemorate the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
Rwandans and friends of Rwanda in Denmark attend the Kwibuka21 event last weekend. (Courtesy)
Rwandans and friends of Rwanda in Denmark attend the Kwibuka21 event last weekend. (Courtesy)

Rwandans living in Jylland and Fyn in Denmark as well as those in Hamilton, a Canadian port city, last weekend gathered at different venues to commemorate the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

According to a statement, over 100 Rwandans from Hamilton and their Canadian friends gathered at McMaster University, on Saturday, to commemorate the atrocities.

Guest speakers, including McMaster University president Patrick Deane, the Mayor of Hamilton, Fred Eisenberger; Hamilton Chief of Police, Glen De Caire; and area Members of Parliament  gave words of encouragement and hope to Rwandans.

The event was characterised by  testimonies about the experience of Rwandan refugees between  1959 and 1994, the experience by Genocide survivors and the experience of young people born after the Genocide.

Meanwhile, mourners travelled hundreds of kilometres from Jylland in mainland Denmark and Fyn, the country’s third-largest island, to the city of Vejle as part of commemoration events.

During the event, largely organised for the youth, Paul Nkubana, the vice-chairperson of the Rwandan community in Denmark, took the participants through the history of Rwanda.

Marie Christine Umuganwa, a Genocide survivor, spoke about the dangers of genocide ideology and how it can be combated.

After giving his testimony, Emmanuel Gafiranga, another survivor, told the youth that fighting against any form of discrimination was the only feasible way to eliminate the “seed of divisionism” that led to the 1994 Genocide.

Guest Speaker Hans Henrik Lund, the vice-chairperson of World Evangelical Alliance Denmark, urged the youth to uphold their motherland’s culture, despite most of them having become naturalised Danes.

“When I say culture, I mean these clothes, food and the language you speak. I understand that you are now Danes but never forget your roots,” he said.

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