Rwandan Culture


  • Rwandans like to shake hands when greeting one another. Even after a hug or even if you were together in the morning and you meet again in the afternoon! 

  • In Rwanda it is quite normal to hug someone that you have never met before; it shows that you are pleased to meet them. Do not be shy to hug!

  • While shaking hands with you, Rwandans may tend to hold their right arm with their left hand. It is a general practice of respect but not expected every time. 

  • Eating in public: Drinking and eating in the streets and in public is not a general practice in Rwanda, advisably, do it when you know others you are with are not hungry or that you can share if needed! 

  • Attitudes towards homosexuality in Rwanda are individual and church-based. Sometimes it can be referred to as ‘shameful. However #BeThePeaceWalk welcomes anyone with no discrimination whatsoever. Given this consideration, any gay visitor would need to exercise discretion. Yet, it is possible to talk openly and in a supportive environment with friends in Rwanda

  • In Rwandan society, kissing in public is not a respectable practice! Taking this into account, it is of no social surprise for people of the same/opposite sex to be physically warm with each other in public – holding hands, for example. 

  • Corruption/Bribes are ZEROTOLARATED in Rwanda

  • Plastic bags have been banned in Rwanda for environmental reasons.

  • A large majority of Rwandans is religious. 

  • In Rwanda, women largely don’t show much bare skin above the knee!

  • Photography of government buildings and armed forces may be prohibited. If you want to, please ask before.

  • Umuzungu is a word that means ‘white person’ or ‘non-black person’. Although you may hear this a lot, generally it is not a negative term!