Ancient Futures: Education
Many things changed in the Ladakh culture as it started to become modernized. Some of the things that changed were farming and the pride they had for their culture, but one of the biggest changes and probably for the worse was their education. The West came to Ladakh and changed their education for the worse. It took the Ladakhi culture away from their traditions of old that they have survived on for centuries.
The traditional schooling system in the Ladakhi culture worked with the seasons which would allow the students to be in school during the months that are unsuitable for farming. Traditional education was kids learning from their grandparents, family, friends, and from the nature of the world. “Education was the product of an intimate relationship with the community and its environment.” (pg. 110) Also, they would learn from their personal experiences like how to recognize different strains of barley. The children would learn about the connection, process, and change in the natural world surrounding them through personal experiences as well.
At young ages children were taught how to provide for themselves with clothing and shelter. Also, they were taught how to make shoes out of yak skin, robes out sheep wool, and build houses out of mud and stone. According to Norberg-Hodge this “gave children an intuitive awareness that allowed them, as they grew older, to use resources in an effective and suitable way.” (pg. 111)
In the 1970s Western education came to the Ladakhi culture and completely changed their education system. The Western education did not provide any of the knowledge of traditional education to Ladkhi children. Actually the traditional Ladakh education system was looked down upon in the modern education. In the new modern education system “[c]hildren are trained to become specialists in a technological, rather than an ecological, society.” (pg. 111)
Most of the skills the Ladakhi children...