Cultural fete lights up Mother Language Day

Local language is central to Rwanda’s development and economic activities if properly used.

Local language is central to Rwanda’s development and economic activities if properly used.

This is according to Dr. Cyprien Niyomugabo, the Executive Secretary of Rwandan Academy of Languages and Culture.

He made the remarks on Monday as Rwanda joined the rest of the world to celebrate International Mother Language Day (IMLD).

The national celebrations of the day set by UNESCO in 1999, took place in Muhondo sector of Gakenke district, in Northern Province, through cultural performances.

It was marked under the theme, “Mother language, a source of unity and development.”

Dr Niyomugabo said the academy tends to organise cultural competitions that sustain all dialects related to Kinyarwanda.

“We are organising competitions featuring songs, theatre, movies through these dialects,” he said, adding that there is also another ongoing project of publishing dictionaries clarifying meanings of some words in Kinyarwanda.

The Governor of Northern Province, Aimé Bosenibamwe, who represented the Ministry of Sports and Culture, urged Rwandans to avoid mixing Kinyarwanda with other foreign languages.

He also emphasised that sustaining Kinyarwanda must go hand in hand with maintaining and protecting all dialects associated with Kinyarwanda.

Kinyarwanda has merged different dialects according to places where people are located and sometimes the dialects are influenced by bordering countries.

Dynamics of language

Most known dialects in Rwanda which need a core protection are Ikirera, spoken in Musanze, Ikigoyi spoken mostly in Rubavu, Igikiga spoken in some localities of Gicumbi district and many others.

“There is no intention to teach these dialectical languages in formal schools but researches in Universities are positively encouraged,” Dr Niyomugabo said.

The Mother Language Week was officially launched in Muhondo sector, Gakenke district, to relate Rwanda’s history and impart literature skills in citizens.

Huro was recognised for having an ancient meteorological site locally known as Ivubiro and the idiom Ihuriro ni I Huro, which means “meeting in a certain location for an interesting reason.”

The ceremony was initiated by Rwandan Academy of Language and Cultures, an organ formed, last year, under the Ministry of Sport and Culture.

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