Monday, January 2, 2012

What happens in Rwanda at the new year?

What a great question! I certainly can't speak for all of Rwanda, but I can share my experiences ringing in the New Year!

My friend Josiane invited me to her home in the Eastern Province of Rwanda (near the Tanzanian border) to celebrate the New Year with her family. Our celebrations started with going to church. It was a very beautiful Catholic mass with a full choir and incredible music. After that, we went to the house of Josiane's cousin to share many fantas, Primus, and Skol (Primus and Skol are Rwandan beers). There were about 15 of us, sitting in a circle, talking about Josiane's family and the many crazy situations they got themselves into.

Every once in awhile, the atmosphere would become serious and someone would make a speech about the coming year which would soon be followed by a prayer or song. We laughed, talked, and drank together until the clock struck midnight.

The thing that stood out to me most during my New Year celebrations was the desire to be together with family. Josiane's cousins came from all around to celebrate with their family and it was really important for all of them to be together.

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