New PDF release: Ancient Futures: Lessons from Ladakh for a Globalizing World

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 alterations that happened because the sector was once opened to overseas travelers and Western items and applied sciences, and gives a firsthand account of ways relentless strain for financial development brought on generational and spiritual clash, unemployment, inflation, and environmental harm, threatening to solve Ladakh’s conventional method of life.

Energized through the destiny of a those who had captured her center, Norberg-Hodge helped identify the Ladakh undertaking (later renamed the overseas Society for Ecology and tradition) to hunt sustainable options that guard cultural integrity and environmental future health whereas addressing the starvation for modernization. because then, different Ladakh-based tasks have proliferated, aiding renewable strength platforms, neighborhood agricultural tools, 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 occupation over a number of a long time as she traveled broadly, watching comparable affects on different cultures. She demanding situations us to reconsider our innovations of “development” and “progress,” stressing particularly the necessity to hold old knowledge into our future.

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

Example text

He has eight basic texts, of which one, the gyektsis, deals exclusively with illness. With the help of the loto, the annually revised book of astrological computations, he is able to diagnose and recommend cures. Typically, his remedies involve the reading of sacred books or the performance of a prayer service. Throwing dice and interpreting patterns of grain are among the other methods he uses. In my first years in Ladakh, I helped several foreign film teams. Inevitably, they wanted to shoot a Buddhist ceremony—preferably one with a lot of dancing, masks, and costume.

Bes, as shared work of this sort is called, often incorporates more than one village, and the reasons for it are not always purely economic. Some farmers will stagger the harvest, even when two fields are ripe at the same time, just so they can work together. You almost never see people harvesting alone; instead, you find groups of men, women, and children all together in the fields—always with constant laughter and song. Rares (literally, “goat turn”) is the communal shepherding of animals. It is not necessary for someone from each household to go up to the mountains with the animals every single day; instead one or two people take all the sheep and goats from several households and leave everyone else free to do other work.

There, Norbu and his younger brother Tsewang had one wife, Palmo. Tsewang had a shop in Leh and spent a lot of time away from Tongde. But when he came back home, Norbu would often throw a party for him, and Palmo and Tsewang would sleep together. Whatever the system of marriage, landholdings are kept intact. The guiding principle behind the system of land inheritance is that it remains undivided instead of being split into smaller and smaller pieces. Whatever happens, whatever the configuration of children may be, the land is passed on to just one individual.

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

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