• Mon. Jun 17th, 2024

Losing one’s culture is synonymous with losing one’s identity


Aug 23, 2022

BUJUMBURA August 22nd (ABP) – “If you lose your culture, you lose your identity”, revealed university professor, Denis Bukuru, on the occasion of the second edition of the “Igihugu” festival, organized from 11 to August 13, 2022 by the Gumya association under the theme “Ikirundi cacu, itunga ryacu” (Our mother tongue, our heritage).

According to that university professor, who defines culture as the set of customs and know-how specific to a country, lamented that since the colonial era, Burundians have underestimated the objects made at home, a sign that testifies that they are no longer attached to their culture and the heritage bequeathed by their ancestors.

Professor Bukuru further pointed out that the betrayal of one’s own culture becomes a curse because, he explained, culture is a guide, a torch that illuminates the country and its people, living beings and inert beings.

He went on to say that thanks to culture, the ancestors of Burundi knew everything in all areas of the country: agriculture, animal husbandry, pottery, mineral extraction, basketry, blacksmithing, hunting, the treatment of diseases, sport, defense, to name but a few.

In addition, in the family evening school called “Ku ziko”, the children learned from their parents during the evening, they went to the school commonly called “Itorero” to learn knowledge related to the culture in the royal palace, at the prince’s palace and with the royal authorities, added Mr. Bukuru while specifying that our ancestors were able to live without any foreign intervention.

By way of illustration, Professor Jean Bosco Manirambona reported that in 1927, the Burundians refused to use the hoes brought to them by the Belgians, because the latter were not durable compared to those they made. themselves. Unfortunately, their resistance did not last long because, he reported, the Belgians passed a law in 1929 prohibiting Burundians from no longer extracting the ores, which were their raw materials for making their own hoes.

In terms of the longevity of our ancestors, Mr. Bukuru pointed out that the traditional food of our ancestors allowed them to live a long time because most of the foods they consumed subsequently became antibodies. That is how Mr. Pierre Ryckmans, the senior Belgian civil servant, Governor General of the Belgian Congo and of Ruanda-Urundi from 1934 to 1946, declared in 1936 that the Barundi have an extraordinary longevity compared to the populations of other countries, remarks Mr. Bukuru, adding that we talk about death mainly for newborns and children under five years old only.

“It is time to pull ourselves together, it is time to value our mother tongue, our culture and ancestral customs. It is time to value the traditional food of our ancestors for the protection of our health”, concluded the university professor, Mr. Bukuru.