Download Ancient Futures: Lessons from Ladakh for a Globalizing World by Helena Norberg-Hodge PDF

By Helena Norberg-Hodge

A gripping portrait of the western Himalayan land occasionally referred to as “Little Tibet,” Ancient Futures opens with writer Helena Norberg-Hodge’s first stopover at in 1975 to idyllic, preindustrial Ladakh. She then tracks the profound adjustments that happened because the sector used to be opened to overseas travelers and Western items and applied sciences, and gives a firsthand account of ways relentless strain for financial development induced generational and spiritual clash, unemployment, inflation, and environmental harm, threatening to solve Ladakh’s conventional means of life.

Energized by means of the destiny of a those who had captured her center, Norberg-Hodge helped determine the Ladakh venture (later renamed the foreign Society for Ecology and tradition) to hunt sustainable options that look after cultural integrity and environmental wellbeing and fitness whereas addressing the starvation for modernization. when you consider that then, different Ladakh-based tasks have proliferated, helping renewable strength structures, neighborhood agricultural equipment, and the non secular foundations of Ladakhi culture.

The author’s new afterword brings readers up to date at the paintings of those initiatives and on her personal profession over numerous a long time as she traveled broadly, looking at comparable affects on different cultures. She demanding situations us to reconsider our thoughts of “development” and “progress,” stressing in particular the necessity to hold historical knowledge into our future.

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Additional info for Ancient Futures: Lessons from Ladakh for a Globalizing World

Sample text

An amchi once gave me two examples of mentally disturbed patients. One is always silent, very frightened. The other talks too much, are very aggressive, and will suddenly jump up and leave the room. ” He had never come across either of these two conditions himself but had merely read about them in books. In addition to the amchi, two other individuals in the village also provide assistance to the sick. One is the lhaba, or shaman; the other is the onpo, or astrologer. Which of the three is consulted depends both on the villager concerned and on his or her particular problem.

That evening they arrive at the house of the bride, each carrying an arrow (dadar) and a small piece of ankle bone from a sheep or a goat. The arrow symbolizes the god of the house where the bride will live, the small bone, or yangmol, prosperity. The house is now full of guests drinking tea and chang. The bride has to be almost forced away by the men who stand shouting for her outside the door. Eventually she comes out, ritual tears pouring. The most extraordinary wedding I have ever seen took place in Mangyu, a village tucked away in a valley one day’s journey from Leh.

Though no system of justice can be perfect, none is more effective than one that is based on small, close-knit communities and that allows people to settle their problems at a grass-roots level, by discussion among themselves. I have learned that when the people settling disputes are intimately acquainted with the parties involved, their judgment is not prejudiced; on the contrary, this very closeness helps them to make fairer and sounder decisions. Not only do smaller units allow for a more human form of justice, they also help prevent the sort of conflict that is so much a part of larger communities.

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