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 often called “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 zone used to be opened to overseas travelers and Western items and applied sciences, and provides a firsthand account of ways relentless strain for monetary development prompted generational and spiritual clash, unemployment, inflation, and environmental harm, threatening to resolve Ladakh’s conventional approach of life.

Energized through 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 recommendations that shield cultural integrity and environmental future health whereas addressing the starvation for modernization. seeing that then, different Ladakh-based initiatives have proliferated, assisting renewable power structures, neighborhood agricultural tools, and the religious foundations of Ladakhi culture.

The author’s new afterword brings readers updated at the paintings of those initiatives and on her personal occupation over a number of a long time as she traveled broadly, watching related affects on different cultures. She demanding situations us to reconsider our recommendations of “development” and “progress,” stressing especially the necessity to hold old knowledge into our future.

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

Sample text

An hour and a half later, the chang drinkers went crashing through the seclusion of his dreams, calling, “Come, Tashi! Wake up! ” Fortunately for us all, chang tends to be merciful when it comes to hangovers. I was amazed by the apparent ease and grace with which Wangyal’s family met the needs of their three hundred houseguests. In the morning, they provided everyone with hot water, soap, and a towel (their house, of course, had no running water); hot water was also provided before every meal. The family and members of the paspun worked around the clock in relays preparing food.

Among the most important is the paspun. Every family in the village belongs to a group of households that helps each other out at the time of birth, marriage, and death. The group consists of between four and twelve households, sometimes from different villages. Generally they share the same household god, who is believed to protect the families from harm and disease. At New Year, offerings are made to the god at a small shrine on the roof of each house. The paspun is most active at the time of a funeral.

Ladakhi hospitality being what it is, we never had to wait long for our cups to be refilled. Yet it was cold that by the time someone brought me more, a thin layer of ice had already formed on the top of the chang. I took my turn presenting the bride, groom, and family with ka-taks, white scarves that are the traditional way of wishing people -well. When the pile got too high around the recipient’s neck, dangerously close to a hundred, a helper stood ready behind to take half of it away. The best man started off the dancing by placing a katak around the neck of one of the guests, and eventually nearly everyone joined in the slow, stately Ladakhi dances, always performed in a circle, which after a time have an almost hypnotic effect.

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