Rwandan stars grace Mother Language Day

What better way to celebrate and preserve a language than through music, dance and drama--MDD?
Urukerereza national ballet dancers performing.
Urukerereza national ballet dancers performing.

What better way to celebrate and preserve a language than through music, dance and drama--MDD?

On Thursday, an MDD concert was held at Petit Stade in Remera, as one of the activities to celebrate the International Mother Language Day, which falls on March 21.

The concert that was meant to start at 4:00pm, started about two hours later due to heavy rain. Thus, an event that was expected to attract a full stadium did not even attract half of it.

However, this didn’t hinder the performances of the night that went on smoothly. Performances were from drama groups, dance troupes and musicians. The dance troupes presented graceful traditional dances.

The live performances from the contemporary to conventional musicians excited the audience. Revellers clapped, chanted and danced along to the tunes. Poem recitals were also a highlight of the night.

Protais Mitali, minister of Sports and Culture and guest of honour at the event said, “The mother language is important because it is key to communication.”

“It is with the language that we are able to transmit a message from one person to another,” he added. 

The minister noted that the mother tongue is one sure way to create unity among Rwandans.

His comments were in sync with the day’s theme: ‘Language: Source of Unity and Development.’

International Mother Language Day was launched by UNESCO in November 1999 as a way to preserve local languages.

Dr. James Vuningoma, executive secretary at Rwanda Academy of Language and Culture, said Rwanda being a member state, is required to observe the day.

However, although the actual international date set for celebrating the day is 21st February every year, Dr. Vuningoma says they do not usually celebrate it for many reasons.

The event that was celebrated for the 10th time in Rwanda started on the Monday March18, with a symposium, seminar and then ended with a concert on Thursday.

The concert started at 5:00pm and ended late in the evening. 

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