RE: “Laugh at Rwanda’s size; joke’s on you” (The New Times, December 11).
In the end, the measure of a nation-state is less about size and more about the quality of its cohesion; and how much history, traditions, customs and beliefs are widely and deeply shared across its population. It is how much the mortar that binds the nation-state’s society has dried and set binding that society very tightly together.
The mortar that binds Rwanda’s society had loosened over the sustained assaults against it with the advent of colonialism and the determined efforts of foreign religion against Rwandans’ own belief system, its social customs and traditions. But, over the last 23 years, fundamental repairs have been undertaken to those elements that represent Rwanda’s traditional indanga-gaciro, and the effects of those efforts are visible for all to see.
Mr. Rugira, I really enjoyed reading this insightful piece on the Rwandan mindset. I’m an American, and years ago, was a journalist. I can recall a time when thought-provoking writing like this was a regular feature of papers in our country. Now, most things that Americans consume as “news” are arbitrated by whether they have a celebrity name such as Kardashian or Trump involved in the story.
We have a daughter who is serving in the Peace Corps in Rwanda, and have been learning a great deal about your nation since the beginning of this year. Every country has its own challenges, but Rwanda seems to be positioning itself more effectively for a better future than many other nations of larger size that have greater access to resources.
A big part of that kind of progress historically for all nations has been a commitment to education, and the strength and eloquence of your column testify to how the power of such investments are making Rwanda a better place. Here’s to a fantastic 2018 and beyond for the Rwandan people.