When Francois (read how I met Francois) invited me to attend Burundi’s National Day, I guess I didn’t really think what that entailed. But when I met up with him after work and walked into the press conference, it hit me. Maybe it was the fact that I was the only Caucasian person in the room. Or maybe because the press conference was held in French and Chinese. But there I was, sitting in on a Burundi-China press conference, and finally experiencing a “language barrier”…which is quite a feat for English speakers since it seems everyone these days speaks English.
The press conference was interesting to watch, even if I wasn’t exactly aware of everything going on. After the press conference and dinner, we went to a big theatre to watch a Burundi drums performance. I planned on only staying for a portion since I was tired from work, but it was so interesting that I ended up staying the full hour and a half. Burundese men drummed in a semi-circle while one would come to the center drum and dance, stomp, and leap high into the air. Burundese women would come out in lavish costumes, baskets balanced on their heads, and dance, ankle bracelets jangling to the beat. Other men chanted and sang while some played various instruments. It was amazing.