Wednesday, June 30, 2010

A University Graduation

Today I went to the first ever graduation ceremony for INES University in Musanze, a city about an hour east of Gisenyi on the road to Kigali. The first class finished in 2007, but the ceremony and awarding of diplomas had finally been approved now, so the festivities were for the 400-odd students in the classes of 2007, 2008, and 2009. It was long – over five hours, including speeches from various dignitaries, an excellent Rwandan dance performance, and the reading of every student’s name.

The professors' hats were a bit different than I'm used to:

The dance performance included people holding the many symbols of Rwanda: a couple different baskets, a double-bowl, the gourd. The giant book isn't traditionally Rwandan but it was, after all, a university graduation.

At one point these two doves were released from one of the little pointed-top baskets that had been on a woman's head. She'd been dancing with it for at least ten minutes:

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