By Nation Reporter
OVER 200 members of the Rwandan community in Zambia at he weekend came together to celebrate the Umuganura, Rwanda’s ‘National Harvest Day’.
Charge d’Affaires at Rwanda High Commission in Lusaka Mr Abel Buhungu said accomplishments in all the areas of government and private sectors had since been fitted into the modernised celebration of Umuganura.
He said the cultural festival that traditionally derived from ancient Rwanda’s “first-fruits” festival was called Umuganura
Mr Buhungu who addressed the participants at the event held at the the Rwanda High Commission in Lusaka explained that the National Harvest Day was celebrated annually on 5th Aug.
Umuganura was one of the most important festivities at the beginning of every harvest season in pre-colonial Rwanda and it was an occasion to celebrate the country’s achievements in terms of harvest both at the Kingdom and family levels.
Mr Buhungu said the celebration of ‘Umuganura’ was used as a unifying social occasion for Rwandans by sharing on their produce 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 in a strategy of promoting unity and Rwandan cultural values,” he said
Umuganura was reintroduced as a Rwandan National event in 2011 by the Institute of National Museums of Rwanda (INMR).
Today,the celebration had transformed from an agro-based harvest celebration to now include all outstanding achievements from other sectors key to national development such as: health, education, ICT, sports & culture, mining, infrastructure, governance, diplomacy and tourism.
“ The aim, like in pre-colonial Rwanda, is to thank God and Rwandans for the good harvest and to collectively strategize for the next season to ensure results are even better,”” he said
Mr. Buhungu, reminded those in attendance that it took a patriotic, focused and very visionary leadership as well as the resilience of Rwandans to turn round what many believed was a failed State following the 1994 genocide against Tusti.
He argued that looking at the very low base Rwanda has emerged from and the major milestones so far registered across all sectors albeit very many odds, there are indeed good reasons for Rwandans and friends of Rwanda to celebrate and thank God.He counselled his compatriots to cherish and protect their culture, continue working hard and smart, preserve the dignity of Rwandans and Rwanda, build valuable friendships and biblically respect the National laws of the host country.