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

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 quarter used to be opened to international travelers and Western items and applied sciences, and provides a firsthand account of ways relentless strain for monetary development triggered generational and spiritual clash, unemployment, inflation, and environmental harm, threatening to solve Ladakh’s conventional means of life.

Energized through the destiny of a those that had captured her middle, Norberg-Hodge helped identify the Ladakh venture (later renamed the overseas Society for Ecology and tradition) to hunt sustainable strategies that shield cultural integrity and environmental well-being whereas addressing the starvation for modernization. considering that then, different Ladakh-based tasks have proliferated, helping renewable power platforms, neighborhood agricultural equipment, and the non secular foundations of Ladakhi culture.

The author’s new afterword brings readers updated at the paintings of those tasks and on her personal occupation over numerous many years as she traveled extensively, watching comparable affects on different cultures. She demanding situations us to reconsider our techniques of “development” and “progress,” stressing primarily the necessity to hold old knowledge into our future.

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

Sample text

I have seen them control whole flocks of sheep nearly half a mile away with a few deftly placed stones. But this time, Chospel’s aim had been off, and he had hit the horse just below the knee, injuring her leg. Who should compensate whom? And for how much? Although the horse’s injury was more serious than the loss of the barley, Namgyal was guilty of an offense that could not be overlooked. To protect their crops, Ladakhis have agreed on strict rules about stray animals, and each village has someone, called a lorapa, specially appointed to catch them and collect a fine from the owner.

In traditional Ladakhi society, women have a very strong position, so Deskit’s acceptance of Angmo had nothing to do with being downtrodden. in a polyandrous marriage, the situation was the other way round. 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.

She was horrified: “Please, aiche Helena, when you have children, whatever you do, don’t treat your baby like that. ” Everyone remains calm with children, even when the young ones are being demanding. Once I was working with Yeshe, a traditional doctor, translating a text on childbirth from one of his old medical books, while he was looking after his neighbor’s grandson for the day. The boy kept grabbing at the pages, sometimes actually tearing them, and all the time asking, “Chi inok? ” (“What’s this?

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