Thoughts of an Expat
When I do my research for each post that I create for Mirror Reflections I always discover something new, something different. This time was no different. In both countries there is a history that is quite disturbing, unsettling, tragic about their pasts. In Rwanda the deaths were uncountably horrifying, seeing the pictures of those who lost their lives. It left an absolute sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. Seeing skulls stacked on top of one another, or row after rows of the same. Then my thoughts turn to the atrocities that occurred in Russia during WWII and I have these same feelings return. I ask myself why do these types of things happen, what is that drives us as humans to such in-humaneness, are we truly creatures of such destruction? Is there no hope for humankind? What’s the answer?
It is joy, unspeakable joy that keeps our hearts warm even in these circumstances. I have often told those around me happiness is fleeting, but joy is eternal. The past is the past, it cannot be changed. The horrors from the past do not have to plague our futures, if we choose this path. We must hang onto this joy, this peace, it is God-given. The rescue comes after suffering such pain. The atrocities in either country shouldn’t be forgotten. So what should we do? The answer is it’s the time to dance. This is the time to celebrate, because we have victory in him. The world will always be the world this is a guarantee, but in him we have victory. That is why I chose to show a different side to both, let’s see what comes to those who suffer greatly.
Life in Rwanda
As Rwandans mark Heroes’ Day for the 20th time today, officials have said that a panel of top academics in the country is reviewing a list of 18 people who have been fronted to be designated as heroes and heroines.
The National Heroes’ Day falls on every February 1 during which time Rwandan leaders and citizens pause and pay homage to specially fallen compatriots who paid the ultimate price for the greater good.
This year’s events are particularly special with preparations already in high gear ahead of the 20th anniversary of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, due April 7.
Today’s observance of the country’s heroes and heroines will be held under the theme, “The Rwandan Spirit, Pillar of Heroism.”
This morning, the country’s top leaders, including President Paul Kagame, are expected to visit Heroes Mausoleum near Amahoro Stadium in Remera, Kigali, where they will lay wreaths on the tombs of the feted heroes.
Also to pay their respects at the Mausoleum are close family members of the departed heroes.
Across the country, citizens are expected to converge at designated areas in their respective villages to observe the day and share ideas on how each one can learn a lesson or two from the heroes and help take the country forward.
The discussions will generally revolve around Ndi Umunyarwanda, a national programme launched last year as a rallying call for all Rwandans to pull on the same direction and discard any divisive tendencies blamed for plunging the nation into a genocide 20 years ago……………..
Life in Russia
Kupala Night is celebrated in Ukraine, Belarus, Poland and Russia on the night of 23/24 June in the Gregorian Calendar.
Calendar-wise, it is opposite to the winter solstice holiday Korochun. The celebration relates to the summer solstice when nights are the shortest and includes a number of fascinating Pagan rituals.
Many of the rites related to this holiday within Slavic religious beliefs, due to the ancient Kupala rites, are connected with the role of water in fertility and ritual purification.
On Kupala day, youth jump over the flames of bonfires in a ritual testing of one’s bravery and faith. A couple in love’s failure to complete the jump while holding their hands is a sign of their destined separation.
Girls would float wreaths of flowers often lit with candles on rivers and would attempt to gain foresight into their relationship fortunes from the flow patterns of the flowers on the river. Men may attempt to capture the wreaths, in the hope of capturing the interest of the woman who floated the wreath.