People and Culture
Rwanda was originally inhabited by twa who are a pigmy people now making a mere 1% of the total population of the country. The other two inhabitants of the country are the hutu and tutsi with the tutsi as the majority. The two groups are widely believed to only be the same in every aspect of life today. In fact historians believe the difference back then was in their individual occupation and not in their ethnicity. Personally I find these two sets of people similar in all aspects; they speak the same language, have the same culture, food and also appearance. However, historians state that the hutu were the agricultural ones while the tutsi were the rich ones who owned cattle. It is believed that during the genocide, the two were tone apart by the length of their noses. Tutsis were believed to have longer noses and even hutus with long noses fell victim to the atrocities of interahamwe fighters.
The country is generally agricultural with other sectors like tourism to compliment the revenue. The countryside is dominated by several fields of tea, sugarcane and coffee. The country is so hilly and this does no allow for mechanised agriculture so the people plough their fields individually. When you trek through rwanda, you will notice well ploughed hillsides with children in the garden at times as their families depend on the food they grow.
Just like many traditions, the people of rwanda have their own dances which are very interesting to watch. The people enjoy music from the west too and from the neighbouring east african countries. The most popular folk dance group in the country is the intore dance troupe who have been perfoming for centuries for visitors and kings in the country. The group still lives on and they perform at the national museum in butare.
All rwandans speak a common language known as kinyarwanda. The language is from the bantu ethnic group and has significant similarities with most of the languages of the region. The recommended language in schools was french until recently when it was changed to english. As a result, most modern rwandans speak french fluently while the much younger generations speak english predominantly. Also, most rwandans speak kiswahili.
The people of rwanda are very warm and welcoming to visitors especially tourists. This is attributed to the customs of the bantu people who are generally very welcoming which is evident in the way they welcomed the europeans who later colonised them.
Most rwandans are christian with a great percentage of that being catholics. There are several evangelical churches coming up as many people are converting to this faith. The number of muslims is minimal in the country while most rural dwellers still deeply believing in the traditional religion.