Rwanda is a highly conservative culture; most individuals, particularly women, dress modestly. Wearing shorts, tight skirts, and tiny tops will earn you twice as many stares as usual.
Even while many guys stroll hand in hand with male pals, it is uncommon for a pair to make public shows of love. Aside from restaurants, Rwandans hardly never eat or drink in public. Rwandan women are seldom seen smoking in public or drinking alone in clubs.
Although smoking is not prohibited in most public areas such as pubs and restaurants, it is usually discouraged. People may complain about being bothered by your smoking from time to time.
Rwandans are a highly quiet, reticent people, and public conflicts (such as screaming bouts) or apparent shows of emotion (such as weeping) are also frowned upon. If you believe you are being overcharged by a merchant, calmly continuing with the negotiation (or your complaint!) is far more likely to generate results than a furious outburst!
Making eye contact with an elder is also considered rude.
Please keep in mind that Rwanda is still rebuilding from a civil war and genocide that killed over 800,000 people, perhaps a million. Many Rwandese people were killed, including family and acquaintances. When working with Rwandese, keep this unfortunate truth in mind. Most people now want to be referred to be Rwandese rather than Hutu or Tutsi, attempting to forget the ethnic divides. It is considered rude to inquire about someone’s ethnic background.
Unlike in many neighboring countries such as Uganda and Kenya, where people openly debate the government and political problems, individuals in Rwanda will feel uncomfortable if questioned about their opinions or simply sitting at a table where national politics is discussed.