Friday, November 12, 2010

Kinyarwanda insult of the day: muzungu kuruhu

Muzungu kuruhu means literally “white person in skin only.” It is an appellation given to white people who do not accede to the various demands for 100 francs, bonbon (candy), bottles, pens, etc. Basically, it’s an insult that means you’re stingy. I like to take it as a compliment - literally, if I’m a muzungu in skin only, I must be very well integrated into Rwanda! On occasion I refer to myself as a muzungu kuruhu to make the point that I don’t have money to give away or sometimes as a bargaining tactic, and when it comes out of my mouth it invariably inspires riotous laughter.

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