April June 2016

April June 2016
Learning from Indigenous People

Thoreau expressed his contempt for mankind when he said, “It appears to be a law that you cannot have a deep sympathy with both man and nature.” Woody Allen put forth his biophobia by proclaiming, “Nature and I are two.” A cursory glance at the quotes may suggest diametrically opposite perspectives but the implicit axiom connecting the two seems to be that human beings and nature are primarily distinct and separate entities. 

Indigenous cultures on the other hand, have been built on a holistic view of the universe where everything is intimately connected to everything else. On an expanded view of community in which humans, animals, plants, rocks and rivers are all biologically and spiritually fused together. The planet then in such a system does not just come alive, but turns sacred as well. The Indigenous have over thousands of years, become “biospherically conscious” and continue to live harmoniously with all life around them.

Editorial

Thoreau expressed his contempt for mankind when he said, “It appears to be a law that you cannot have a deep sympathy with both man and nature.” Woody Allen put forth his biophobia by proclaiming, “Nature and I are two.” A cursory glance at the quotes may suggest diametrically opposite perspectives but the implicit axiom connecting the two seems to be that human beings and nature are primarily distinct and separate entities. 

Eco Spiritual leader Satish Kumar spells out a much needed philosophy of joy and caring for nature and humans in times when gloom and doom stories are rife in the world today.

Being with the indigenous is a moving experience that creates a shift in consciousness within one, says Reva.  

For several months now, I have been visiting and living with indigenous people in our land (whom we often call “the tribals”), travelling into the interiors of India and meeting others who have lived and worked for years with them.

The study disproves the myth that innovation must always be transferred from the lab to the land. It concludes that the indigenous wisdom widely practiced by communities before farming began, are highly relevant for climate change adaptation.

Living Farms, an NGO that works with tribal villages in the eastern state of Odisha, has documented 357 forest foods harvested by tribes in the region. Nutrition experts under NIN studied 63 of them and found them to be high in micronutrients. 

Luc Sala on why we need to maintain a balance between the digital and the analogue in life.