Centuries-old Rwandan Traditions on Show in California

Rwandan traditional dancers during a performance
Rwandan traditional dancers during a performance

Everything will be traditional from dressing, jewelry to entertainment and lots of food at Rwanda’s first cultural celebration at San Francisco Marriott Marquis hotel in California-US.

As thousands of Rwandans in Diaspora and friends descend to California, back home, people will glue to their Television sets watching a live broadcast of the event. And President Paul Kagame will be guest of honour.

Organisers say unlike the previous Rwanda Day events, this one will be entirely focused on showcasing the country’s rich culture and traditions.

Participants will have a chance to get entertained by National Ballet that presents authentic Rwandan originality  including; traditional songs, theatre, drumming, dancing and poetry.

Rwanda’s signature drumming ambience will evoke the most thrilling experience and connect participants to Rwandan heritage. Participants will definitely tryout traditional dance moves.

Diaspora members will be taken back into ancient traditions; iron work, agriculture, beer production, long horned cattle, weaving, pottery, fashion and jewelry, woodwork and performing arts.

In previous events members of the Diaspora and government delegations annually met in a foreign city to interact on matters of nation building. Several questions are asked and direct answers are provided.

According to organisers, more than 37,000 Rwandans have since been mobilised and several investment deals and projects  negotiated.

For example in 2009, Rwandan Diaspora initiated a ‘One Dollar’ campaign to build a home for some orphans of the genocide. By 2014 a Rwf1.7 billion hostel was built. It is now home to 96 girls and 96 boys aged between 20 and 23 years.

Rwanda Day platform facilitates Rwandans in Diaspora to actively take part in planning and governance decisions of their country. Similarly back home, under the citizenship outreach initiative, the president regularly meets citizens to discuss various issues of nation building.

However, this year’s edition has been dubbed ‘Rwanda Cultural Day’; According to organisers, the event, “will be an opportunity to celebrate Rwanda’s unique culture and its role in transforming Rwanda into one of the fastest growing economy in Africa.”

This will be the 4th time Rwanda Day event will be held in the United states including previous venues in Boston, Chicago (twice) and on 24 September 2016 in San Francisco Marriott Marquis, California.

For this year’s event, various activities have been organized  to enable participants learn about the values that unite Rwandans.

Participants will also learn about homegrown solutions inspired by Rwanda’s culture that have become an integral part of solving the country’s challenges ranging from justice and reconciliation, poverty reduction and accountable governance.

“Coming together as we are here today is one way of pulling as one for the common purpose of building our nation, a purpose to which every Rwandan and even the many friends of Rwanda are called,” President Kagame said last year during the 7th Rwanda Day in the Netherlands.

Traditional dancers performing
Traditional dancers performing
Rwanda women drumming rhythmically
Rwanda women drumming rhythmically
Playing traditional music instruments
Playing traditional music instruments



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