Ethnic Identity In Rwanda

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A period of three months made the beautiful “Land of a thousand Hills” in the African continent to be worldwide known and related to the mass killings, instead of being recognized for its fauna and flora.
It is during this period, that War broke out in Rwanda, in which the world witnessed the fastest and well organised massacre and genocide of the 21st century, whereby in just a 100 days, an unimaginable human and material destruction took place. The consequences of this war are irreversible. The effects are still prevelant within the Rwandan society, in the diaspora and in the world at large. For example, in the first place, the social constructions, in many Rwandan marriages have broken up, resulting into the fragmentation of a once closely
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The meaning of identity is ambiguous. It is recommended that one has to decode the social context of its usage to understand it. Identity is a social construct that normally occurs in the minds of people. It is represented through symbolic processes e.g. Culture, Tradition and Beliefs, Religion, Language etc. Having a certain culture and the practice of it, is a tradition in the society. This is a theoretical issue that was raised by Fredrick Barth, who intensively dwelled on the puzzling idea of people belonging to a particular group, what they value and the way they conduct themselves in group relationship. Barth´s mystery is about how people, who belong to the same group, sharing the same values and beliefs, change their behavior when confronted with different challenges in life. At this point, it is appropriate to consider the Rwandese that were at war in 1994. These are people of the same nation, who spoke the same language, had the same culture, had the same skin color and shared basically everything in life (Barth 1969:…show more content…
The act of communication by exchanging ideas can prtically shape the life of individuals in a society. According to Wimmer, some people view ethnicity as an actual thing. That is being part of a certain ethnicity is valued with great importance by particular people in question. Yet; to others, ethnicity is termed as irrelevant. Besides ethnic backgrounds though often associated with different characteristics such as inequality and exclusion, loyalty and deep identieties etc. ethnic history can be a hot button to start a conflict to the concerned members of the group (Wimmer 2013:

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