Christmas is once again around the corner and everyone is anxiously waiting to get hooked on what’s on, where to dine, shop and buy the perfect gifts.
The days closer to Christmas bring many from upcountry to the city, which tells it all, congestion, transport becomes a mess, and even the fares are hard to cope with.
Christmas in Uganda gives an impression of celebration, dinning and wining with friends and relatives. A tree ablaze with lights to every home entrance, the family gathered closely and knowing true delight.
Exchanging gifts and sharing, the gaiety and song mark this festive month.
If one gets to Kigali, things are pretty the same, except more beef will be eaten. They love their roasted steaks, potatoes, rice, beans and peas.
Well for Rwandese in Uganda, unity has always been the strengthened pillar between friends and families.
Those who are not travelling back to ‘umutara’ or even to upcountry villages in Uganda keep around linking up with ‘their people’ as a way to show love, affection and a feeling of togetherness.
This time round, I talked to the former Chairman of the Banyarwanda Association of Makerere University, Herbert Rugaba and he said, “Don’t ask as if you don’t know the answer.
I have to go to the village to be with my relatives and friends.” Anyway, for many, love is a grand and complicated scheme that hardens, like coal hardens into a diamond, a diamond as the only thing that cuts glass and yet love is the only thing that can shatter a heart.
This is a rule people have held close especially those in Diaspora, because love and togetherness keeps them near to home and with a feeling of one accord.
Technology has advanced; people can communicate easily and faster within the reach of different programs that provide chat rooms, where many arrangements can be settled.
“You are invited for a Christmas special celebration with the Rwandese community at imperial resort beach, confirm your status,” a message read on my Facebook web page.
These are messages that keep rotating before the fall of Christmas day. Besides some of us work till the 11th hour and Christmas reaches unnoticed. The day becomes like any other public holiday or like Sunday, because you find yourself working like it’s a Monday.
Evidently all Christmas morning roads lead to church, somehow almost everyone respects that day. Even if it’s for a short time, families make it a point with all their children to go to church either as a sign of protocol or having the need to thank God for a good year.
Following Jesus’ answer to the Pharisees, “render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and to God the things that are God’s”, after church, the Rwandese communities either meet at a particular home or go to the beach or any other place they wish to be in.