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Rwanda National Harvest Day (23/11/2016)

 

 

On Friday September 23rd, 2016 over two hundred members of the Rwandan community in Zambia came together at the Rwanda High Commission Chancery in Lusaka to celebrate Umuganura, Rwanda’s National Harvest Day. 

 

National Harvest Day which in Rwanda is observed annually on the 5th of August is a cultural festival that traditionally derives from ancient Rwanda’s “first-fruits” festival called Umuganura. Umuganura was one of the most important festivities at the beginning of every harvest season in Rwanda historically as it was an occasion to celebrate the country's achievements in terms of harvest both at the kingdom and family levels. In pre-colonial history, the celebration of ‘Umuganura’ was used as a unifying social occasion for all Rwandans through acts of sharing what they had produced either at the family level, in the village or as a kingdom. Rwandans from all walks of life would come together and share what they had without exclusion as a form of promoting Rwandan cultural values.

Umuganura was reintroduced as Rwandan National event in 2011 by the Institute of National Museums of Rwanda (INMR). Today, Rwanda’s National Harvest Day has a broader meaning; from being initially about agro-based harvest celebration to including outstanding achievements from other sectors key to national development such as: health, education, ICT, sports, mining, infrastructure, culture and tourism. Accomplishments in all the areas of government and private sector activities at all levels have since been fitted into the modernised observation and celebration of Umuganura. The aim today, like it was in pre-colonial Rwanda, is to thank God and Rwandans for the harvest and to collectively strategize for the next season to ensure that the harvest is good.

In his address to the Rwandan community living in Zambia, the Rwandan High Commission Charge d’Affaires, Mr Abel Buhungu encouraged Rwandans and friends of Rwanda in attendance that at the heart of this special day is the importance of reinforcing a foundation of unity in diversity, sharing and a form of preserving not only Rwandan Culture but celebrating African Culture as a whole.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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