Nothing defines Rwandese culture better than the warm hospitality of its people,the thrill of the Intore dancers and singers as well as the ordinary people’s strong ethic for work and industry.No wonder some have described Rwanda as the land of a million smiles.
The country has a poulation of 8.1 million people. Rwanda is one of the few countries in Africa with a single common language and culture .
Rwanda’s population is predominantly christian, with 56.5 % Catholics, 26% Protestants, 11.1 % Adventist, 4.6% Muslim, 0.1%indigenous beliefs and 1.7% belonging to no religious denomination.
The Country has three official languages namely, Kinyarwanda (vernacular), English and French. Most Rwandese are multi-lingual or at least bi-lingual. Swahili and other dialects from the region are also spoken, especially in major commercial centres.
Throughout history, capable local artists have captured and manifest many features of Rwandese culture in phyisical form through carvings and drawings. Many of these artefacts can be found along the streets of Kigali or homesteads, on the rolling hills and in valleys across the country, and are increasingly becoming the basis of a growing industry in cultural products .
Music and dance equally play an important role in the traditions of all Rwandan peoples. The Rwandan community has a variety of music and dance which range from acts that demonstrate epics commemorating excellence and bravery, humorous lyrics to hunting root. Traditional songs are often accompanied by a solitary lulunga, a harp-like instrument with eight strings.
More celebratory dances are backed by a drum orchestra, which typically comprises seven to nine members, and collectively produce a hypnotic and exciting explosion set of intertwining rhythms.
Lucky visitors may chance upon spontaneous traditional performances in the villages of Rwanda. The finest exponent of Rwanda’s varied and dynamic traditional musical and dance styles, however, is the Intore Dance Troupe. Founded several centuries ago, the Intore - literally ’The Chosen Ones’ - once performed exclusively for the Royal Court, but today their exciting act can be arranged for other functions.
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