The last Naturalization ceremony I attended, a man interrupted to claim his country, Burundi. I have been exposed to new countries in my day job, but Burundi was a new one for me. A quick Wikipedia search and screen shot, I knew I wanted to explore this country further.
Burundi is in East Africa, along the African Great Lakes area. The African Great Lakes are in and around the East African Rift, including “Lake Victoria the second largest freshwater lake in the world by area, and Lake Tanganyika, the world’s second largest freshwater lake by volume and depth”.* Burundi is surrounded by Rwanda, Tanzania, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Originally a Belgian colony, Burundi was known as Ruanda-Urundi. Once independence was declared in July of 1962, the countries opted to separate, becoming Rwanda and Burundi.
Burundi became independent as a constitutional monarchy. Rwanda, on the other hand, had many years of ethnic violence.
Despite a promising start with their freedom, Burundi is a one of the poorest nations. Some of this is due to ethnic violence between the Tutsi and Hutu. e poverty, a lack of law and order and ongoing human right violations, as well as the difficulty of integrating former rebels into state institutions, continue to be major barriers to stability and sustainable peace in the country.
Some facts about Burundi:
- Capital: Bujumbura
Government Type: Republic
Language: Kirundi (official), French (official), Swahili (along Lake Tanganyika and in the Bujumbura area)
Clothing: Pagnes or wraparounds. In rural areas, both men and women wear this style.
Food: Mainly plantains, beans, sweet potatoes, beans, and cabbage. Ugali is a staple food of the Burundi people. Here’s a link with a recipe to this favored dish. Tastes of Africa: Ugali
What countries are new for you in Northern Africa?