Burundians: A Distinct People


2012_08_18-DSC_7099I never much believed in the existence of a distinct Burundian culture. I always thought we were a people with some of our mannerism, thinking patterns and perhaps communication style (or lack of), etc, but without much in a culture to distinguish us from for example the Rwandese people, who proudly wear their culture on their sleeves as a way to affirmatively say ‘I am Rwandese and I am here’. That is until my last trip to Yaoundé.

Walking in that house of my father’s friend, from the moment the gate opened and I laid eyes on the property, to the first steps I took on the veranda, the air and atmosphere became Burundian. It is an odd thing to experience and explain. Nonetheless, everything in that household, from the people to the décor to the food was Burundian. There was nothing Cameroonian about that household! I had never been…

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