Despite a genocide that has claimed more than 800,000 lives, Rwanda is still a peaceful country with progressive ideals. From its perfectly grilled Rwandan tilapia to its beautiful landscapes, it is a paradise for creatives.
At the heart of Kigali's artistic zeal is the Inema Arts Centre, founded by the late Rwandan President Emmanuel Kagame and his wife. The gallery houses the world's largest collection of contemporary art in Rwanda, as well as exhibitions, workshops and events.
One of the biggest productions they staged was a Rwandan story about survival and hope, which depicts genocide from the perspective of a child. The other tracks on the album use traditional instruments, including one - a string umuduli, an oval harp - and the 11-string inanga, a traditional long-string and short-string instrument. These instruments are carved from a rare tree species, the Umwungo, which is only found in Rwanda and Tanzania, where it is native to Africa.
The south - east of Rwanda - is known for its unique cow dung art, which dates back to the time when the region was part of the independent kingdom of Gisaka. For generations, it has been possible to create an impressive and truly unique art form from cow dung, the Imigongo, which can only be found in Rwanda.
A peasant uprising in 1959 drove the Tutsi leader from power and drove thousands of Tatsi from the country, most of them to Uganda, Congo and Burundi. The ethnic politics of the two countries tend to evolve over time, with events in one country inspiring a reaction in another. Thousands of Rwandans emigrated from Uganda to Congo to form a new ethnic group, the "Rwanda-Congolese" or Rwanda-Congo. This group has developed a distinctive cultural identity, even though the peoples of Uganda and Congo associate it with Rwanda.
The ensuing social and political conflict revolved around the definition of "Rwandan nationality" as an ethnic group that would include all genuine Rwandans. The social status of Rwanda today is reflected in the level of education demonstrated by French and English skills, and is based on the number of Rwandan Congolese in Uganda and Congo, as well as the presence of Kinyarwanda speakers in both countries. These include refugees, who generally identify strongly with the Rwandan nation-state, but also Kiniya - speakers who have lived in Rwanda for generations and therefore have a greater understanding of the country's history, culture and ethnic identity than the Tatsi.
These are often replicas of symbols from traditional art, and the designs are striking, often in the style of the Tatsi, but also of other ethnic groups in Rwanda.
No visit to Kigali or Rwanda in general is complete without a visit to the Kigsali Genocide Memorial. Allow yourself at least an hour to meander through the permanent collection, which combines photography and video with personal accounts of survivors of the genocide. It is no coincidence that this coincides with the anniversary of the genocide in Rwanda and the opening of a festival on the site. This festival is taking place in the same building where the bodies of more than 1,000 victims of the Rwandan genocide are buried.
Rwandan families are generally quite large, and as a result Rwanda has the highest fertility rate in the world. These humans, also known as pygmies, are among the most endangered groups of humans in Africa, along with chimpanzees and gorillas.
For HIV seropositive women aged 20 to 39, the desire for more children in the future is low compared to HIV seronegative women in Rwanda in 2010. Although most public office is reserved for men, women enjoy a minimum of political and economic power, exemplified by the Queen Mother's powerful position. But women in today's Rwanda hold few political positions and have limited economic power (as can be seen from the difficulties women have had in inheriting land and property).
The German colonial authorities, who replaced the Belgians in 1916, regarded the Tutsi, Hutu and Twa as three distinct national groups. This colonial policy led to greater ethnic identification and polarization, which it also created. In Rwanda, the notion that the "Tutsis" were a separate race, having arrived only recently and established their supremacy over the Hutus and Tatsi by conquest, was adopted by a large part of the population, but in the end Hutu leaders used the belief that Tutus were not true Rwandans to inspire their soldiers and militias to slaughter the country's TUTI population in retaliation against moderate Houthi who challenged the exclusive national ideology. Although most of Kinyaranda's speakers are collectively known as "BanyarWanda," the distinction between Huto and Tuti has remained in Rwanda. Ethno-nationalism among Hutu remains an important ideology in Rwandan society, especially among the younger generation of young men and women, as well as among young people in rural areas.