**I’m very pleased to be able to share a post from a good friend of mine here, Janvier. Janvier is a priest in my village and, as you can see below, has an extremely high level of English! He likes foreign languages (he speaks Kinyarwanda, Swahili, English, French and German!), philosophy and intercultural exchange. He has graciously agreed to provide a couple of guest blog posts, beginning with this one about traditional Rwandan dance. I see the women in church — from ages 4 to 80 — dancing in church every week as he describes below. It’s really beautiful and part of what makes the Rwandan Catholic mass my favorite mass I’ve ever been to. Next time he will write about traditional taboos in Rwandan culture — a really fascinating topic.I hope you will interact with him and share your reactions to what he was written!**
Different peoples, different cultures, different dances, one humanity! Cultural dances are so precious to many civilizations and generally to all mankind; in a dance you can read certain pieces of a people’s history and livelihood that would otherwise be lost. A dance is a common language that unites us all and also unites us to nature. You can see, for instance, dancers imitating cranes, cows, the movements of clouds, water, and more!
For example, in Rwandan tradition the cow is a very precious animal because it gives milk. For this reason many of the traditional songs and pastoral poems, were centered around the cow. As consequence, you’ll see that in most styles of Rwandan traditional dance, the dancers hold their arms out in a V-shape to imitate the shape of a cow’s horns.
Another thing to notice is the musical instruments used by Rwandans: most of them were made from parts of the cow. For example, ingoma (drums) are made from leather, amakondera (a traditional instrument) are made from the horns. Also, the renowned Intore dances wear clothing made of the cow’s skin. And so on!
The Rwandan intore are unique: they are a well-organized group of dancers with special dance, clothing and special instruments !
Although all regions don’t have the same dance when those different dances are put together the mixture gives the wonderful variety of Rwandan traditional dance which plays a big role in the Rwandan hospitality to the visitors that travel here.
Dance is one of the ways to express our inside thoughts and feelings. The one who watches understands the message easily. Wonderful! And since it is a common language universally, unnumbered folkloric dances in this world have similarity despite the certain influence of a specific culture. Is there folkloric dance in America? What is the special thing that you think has greatly influenced your folkloric dance? Which part of the body do you move the most when dancing? Please, share your findings!