Cultures, Development and Environment
Aboriginal people from every culture have traditions and customs related with environment which may be associated with social, religious or spiritual practices such as worship of Tulsi (Ocimum sanctum) and Peepal (Ficusreligiosa). Native people of North America have a very close bonding with nature and the land based on kinship as they commonly use the phrases like “We are all related”, and “All our relations” in their ceremonies. Indian philosophy also greatly shows concern over environment with slogans like “VasudhaivKutumbkam” which means that whole earth is a family.
Care giving is a responsibility that comes with being a part of the system of nature. If you take care of the plants and animals, they will take care of you. Plants and animals are integral part of human daily life and are spiritual and social necessities. Air, water and soil are considered as holy symbols and divinities in many cultures. Sun was worshippedas highest God and Earth as the most important goddess in all ancient cultures including Egyptian, Indus-valley, Mesopotamia and Maya civilizations.
All the practices in history were more concerned with environment than the presentlyexisting self-destructive and unethical development-oriented societies. Each kind of physical development needs resources and resources are gained from three sources: Forest, Mining and Agriculture. All three depend on weight and volume of earth which is constant and transforming quickly to low resource scenario. Besides physical development we should also consider the psychological, spiritual and moral development of the society which ultimately manifests in our physical environment.
(To be cont.)
Dr. Manbir Singh,
Faculty of Allied Health Sciences,