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CUBA IS THE FUTURE FOR LATIN AMERICA AND PERHAPS THE WORLD

CUBA IS THE FUTURE FOR LATIN AMERICA AND PERHAPS THE WORLD On my way out of Cuba, from La Habana, on COPA airlines flight to Panama, I w...

mercredi 24 décembre 2014

CULTURAL KNOWLEDGE CAN SAVE LIVES ...RESPECT INDIGENOUS KNOWLEDGE

Early on in my association with the Indigenous North Americans, they reminded me, We know the answers but no one asks them. Also the well meaning, Euro-Americans come to the Indian Reservations, with plans and projects, without taking into consideration, that the local people who have lived in this land for thousands of years have maintained their own systems of belief and knowledge.
This translates well into medical care as well. Even educated American Indians are treated by most doctors especially those with no knowledge about Indigenous cultures (even if they are living close by), as if they are ignorant and have no knowledge.
In my conferences, I like to give the example of the Leader of the Indigenous people of Andaman Islands, who on 24th December 2004, noticed that the big animals and birds were seeking shelter higher up in the land. He exhorted his people to follow the animals for he was taught that the animals and birds can sense something the new comers to the islands from India could not, including meteorologists! His indigenous wisdom saved his people, none of whom perished, but thousands of Immigrants from India to Andaman Islands perished. While the so called enlightened governments call for assimilation of indigenous people, it is always in the terms of the outsiders and not of the insiders! The assimilated tribe of Andamanese who lived among the Immigrants also perished!
so it was good to read a story on this day of the tenth anniversary of the Tsunami of 2004 when thousands perished in the epicenter of the tsunami, Bandar Aceh. But the islanders with the knowledge of changes in the ocean were all spared!

Awareness of the warning signs saved many lives on Simeulue, an island off the west coast of Aceh - just seven people died there in the tsunami compared to 167,000 on Aceh itself.

The hilly geography of the island helped, but the islanders also knew what to do thanks to a local storytelling tradition called smong. According to a Unesco report, smong stories told to children often ended with a warning: "If a strong tremor occurs, and if the sea withdraws soon after, run to the hills, for the sea will soon rush ashore."

TO MOTIVATE PEOPLE TO CHANGE THEIR WAYS OF LIFE, ESPECIALLY IN THESE DAYS OF GALLOPING OBESITY AND OVERCONSUMPTION OF UNHEALTHY FOOD,
RESPECT LOCAL KNOWLEDGE