As nation reconciles with itself, a successful transition helps Rwanda recover from past wounds
Geography and climate - People - Environment - Historical Backgrounds - Gacaca System - Tribute to Courage - Help a Child! - Government - Religion - Art and Literature - Communicating With Rwandans - Family Life - Intore Dance of Peace - Food in Rwanda - Sports and Recreation - Travel Tips - Where to Go - Did you know?

Sports and Recreation

Soccer is very popular in Rwanda. The top three teams are Rayon Sport, Kiyovu Sportif and the Rwanda Patriotic Army team. Rwandans keenly follow soccer games, either by attending the matches or by listening to them on the radio. Men get together for informal games and children enjoy kicking and running after balls made of leaves held together with twine. There are a few soccer clubs for adult women in cities such as Kigali.
Some Rwandans are very fast runners. From a young age, children compete in running and high jumping. Recreational wrestling is another favourite pastime. Some Rwandans who live near the lakes enjoy swimming. Rwandan children play games such as hide and seek, skipping and hopscotch.

Mancala is a traditional board game enjoyed by Rwandans. It is played with 48 dried peas and a specially made board, with two rows of six hollowed-out cups. Some boards have a cup at each end for keeping captured peas. At the beginning of the game, all the peas are distributed in the cups. In turn, each player picks up the peas in one cup and distributes them sequentially in the other cups. Players try to capture as many peas as possible during this process, but the rules of capture vary. Igisoro, a more complex version of the game, uses a table with 32 hollowed-out cups, in four rows of eight.

Other traditional pastimes include reciting poetry and telling stories. Poetry recitations are generally held at wedding ceremonies. Most Rwandan stories tell of the heroism of kings and ancestors.
Special events, such as births, weddings and harvests, are occasions for music and dancing. One men's dance is the intore, which means "chosen." The best dancers are chosen to perform a warlike dance to the accompaniment of drums. A special dance called ikinimba is part of the traditional courtship ritual. It is danced by men and unmarried women. When a woman marries, she may no longer participate in the dance, but men may perform the dance after they are married.
Rwanda has a national radio station and most people have access to a radio. Rwandans enjoy listening to American rock music, Caribbean reggae, and Zairian and Kenyan pop music.

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