Thursday, September 5, 2013

"Don't doubt the fact there's life within you."


           In 2004, the Indian subcontinent was hit by a tsunami. The indigenous tribes living on the islands and coast decided to travel to the hills and mountains several days before the tsunami hit. Anthropologists report that the tribal people knew the storm was coming because they noticed a change in the flight patterns of the birds around them. Indian military personnel, fisherman and other people living on the coast died, yet the tribes were left unscathed.

        Development. What might be right for you, may not be right for some. While studying applied anthropology and tribal welfare, it has become apparent just how difficult it is to determine what is and is not a tribe. The level of assimilation into "civilized" society is a major determining factor. Yet what is compromised by this assimilation? Is it possible to introduce Wi-fi and Snuggies to tribal communities, while retaining their essence of identity? For that matter, how much intervention do these communities even want from modern society?

        The University of Hyderabad is located outside of the city, and the campus is filled with thick jungle, huge boulder fields and beautiful wildlife. A midst this serene scene are a multitude of fifty story condos, massive malls and shopping centers, and there is no sign of stopping as more and more buildings are erected each day. Much of this development, I'm told, has happened only within the last ten or fifteen years. This is all well and good, however, one has to wonder how much attention and care is being brought to the villages and tribal communities.

         Consider again our clever tsunami dodging tribal sisters and brothers. Is it right to consider them primitive, backwards and less knowledgeable? Sure, they may not be able to speak English or update their Facebook statuses, but when you consider things like food sovereignty and self sustainability they begin to appear quite knowledgeable. What will happen if the food truck drivers suddenly decide not to deliver to your local grocery? Or if water doesn't come out of your faucet? What if the power sudden goes out indefinitely, or the petrol pump is bone dry. Maybe there are some things us "civilized" folk can learn from our tribal friends. Thoughts?

Much love to all,
N8KING (gRaNoLa BeAr)

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