“A nation's culture resides in the hearts and in the soul of its people.” Mahatma Gandhi
Every country and every community is made up of a set of individual values, norms and perspectives. It’s the lens through which one grows and which shape the way you see the world. These make up what’s called culture and it’s what differentiates one community to another and brings about diversity.
Rwandans wherever they are, in different corners in the world and particularly the residents, are unique. It’s the way we eat, talk, clothe and behave that stands us out in a crowd of people. As we start this week of the continued #WinterABC challenge, I’ll write about culture and fashion in Rwanda from my perspective. And as we take Rwanda to the World, I hope my readers will have a glimpse in our lives and a reason to visit Rwanda now.
In today’s blog post, let’s talk about hair. Rwandans have always cherished their culture and hairstyle played a big role in traditional Rwanda. Our elders used to wear amasunzu in 30 different ways. This is a hairstyle that was worn by men and unmarried women. For men it was a sign of brevity, power, nobility and prestige, whereas for women it was an indicator that they were single and ready to get married.
Today, young people put on different hairstyles that we copy from all over the world. From braids, to ponytails and twists and curls. As the #MadeInRwanda campaign rose, the Amasunzu hairstyle made a comeback. Young men and women put on amasunzu casually on a daily basis like David others wear it occasionally in ceremonies. It’s even a trend now for brides to style their hair in amasunzu style like Sarah did and Contente.
At the 2018 Oscars Awards, actress Lupita Nyong’o rocked the hairstyle which made a buzz in the news by then. The hype and positive feedback that the world showed by then was at once, a fuel to this comeback.
“Hair is hair – yet also about larger questions: self-acceptance, insecurity and what the world tells you is beautiful.”_Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie