Monday, 10 November 2008

Learning from other cultures

As part of the Cielo Azul interculturality program, we recenlty visited the Centro de sabiduría ancestral Pakarinka Sisari (Center for Ancestral Wisedom Pakarinka Sisari), near Otavalo, Ecuador. There, we met Oscar and, as well as participating in a ritual of connection with Mother Earth, Pachamama, we had the opportunity of learning about the relationship the indigenous have with nature.

In the indigenous culture, humans are not superior to nature, and therefore, don’t have the right to exploit it. This doesn’t mean that they can’t use it as a source of food and water, a source of life. It does mean, however, that they must have a fair relationship with it, based in respect and reciprocity. The relationship of the indigenous people with nature is based in something they called Randi randi, to give and receive equally. Thus, to show that you are grateful for what nature gives, you must take care of it.

This way of thinking, that was common to many ancient civilisation has, unfortunately, been lost almost completely in our present day society. Let’s learn from these cultures, and start caring for nature again the way it deserves. Because caring for nature is also caring for ourselves.

You can find more information about the centre we visited on their website (in Spanish):

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