A country that loses its culture loses its very soul. Early civilisations like the Maya culture and Inca civilisation in South America were all but gobbled up by the Spanish conquest.
Today, one is more likely to see vestiges of Spanish and Portuguese cultures than the original practices. That is a shame that should not be repeated elsewhere.
It is, therefore, fitting that Rwandan culture will be on show in one of the world’s largest melting pots; the United States, San Francisco to be precise.
The Rwanda Cultural Day this year takes over from its more famous celebration, Rwanda Day, that has been celebrated in many major cities in Europe and North America.
It has not only helped to link members of the Diaspora with their motherland, it has also been a platform to identify talent to help in nation building.
Culture is a people’s identity and can help a nation market itself. Take the Maasai in Kenya and Tanzania, for example; their red coloured shukas and jewelry have become strong symbols for tourism and conjured images of adventure for many tourists.
So, displaying Rwanda’s rich culture can do the same and at the same time bring back to life our past to those who never had a chance to experience it or have lost touch.
Rwanda Cultural Day is yet another “homegrown solution” that should go beyond bringing Rwandans under one roof in foreign lands. Let it be the doorstep into more innovations and linkages. Let it keep our culture and aspirations alive.