“I’m proud of the Gitega drums, the Kirundo dancers, the Tanganyika lake and its many hippos, the blue waters of the Rumonge & Nyaza lake, the warm welcome Burundians give.”
“Kirundi is the language spoken in the whole country. In some areas we also speak Swahili, and of course French. What makes me most proud of being Burundian is our culture in general: the clothes we wear, the dances, the drums.
Anyone can learn to play the drums; it’s not tied to lineage. The drums are a means to celebrate. It is generally used in weddings. Another thing I’m really proud of is our coffee.”
“I’m also proud of the Gitega drums, the Kirundo dancers, the Tanganyika lake and its many hippos, the blue waters of the Rumonge & Nyaza-Lac, the warm welcome Burundians give.
Our traditional meals include non-ripe plantains cooked with palm oil, spinach and meat. We also eat a lot of beans across the country.”
“For anyone who visits Burundi, the first thing I would tell them to try is grilled mukeke, which are mackerels from Lake Tanganyika cooked a certain special way. The second thing they should try is smoked ndagala, those tiny little fish. Third you should visit Nyanza-lac, a region of the country where the water is of a beautiful blue; one should also visit Rumonge which is also in the lake region. Number four, you should attend a wedding in which they play the drums. Before leaving the country, you should get yourself some traditional clothes as well as our traditional hand-made baskets, “Ibiseke”. There are also many locally made art pieces by craftsmen.”
“The fact that I’ve been writing for a really long time is what inspired me to create my blog; I was setting too many limits on myself. I created my blog to share my life experiences in the hopes that I can help someone, even if it’s only one person. I try to inspire people by speaking about experiences I’ve been through. It’s also an exercise on myself to remove those limits that I had set on myself.”
“Living abroad, I would say that my culture survives through the fact that I get to speak my language. Unfortunately I barely practice our dance – that’s a real shame. I think the fact that there is a community here that speaks the language and the 1001 ceremonies that happen revive the Burundian culture for me, being here.”
I knew that Laurie is also an amazing artist. This is what she had to say about her debuts as a make-up artist.
“It all started as a thing among friends, where we were experimenting. I started appreciating it a lot! I watched a lot of YouTube videos. I really love to experiment and understand; it’s fascinating to observe how putting different layers in a different order yields different results. And I absolutely love the person’s facial expression after I finish applying make up on them – priceless!”