Inferences from Namburu
Mar 23, 2016,
Human settlement is a complex part of Human footprint. It gives us clues about a culture’s attributes and its people’s priorities.Prone to ‘urbanity’ but still containing its rural culture, Namburu is a place of cultural cacophony. I learnt that innocence is the best way to start learning, in a state of innocence the human mind is not filled with inhibitions which is true in the case of the children of Namburu. Their purest of thoughts come out without any contamination from the external forces. I realised it when I happened to have a glance at their books. They are free in mind and soul exploring their surroundings without any constraints from the adults. This made me feel that a village is the only place where an indian child is free to explore and satisfy his curiosity. I particularly mentioned the doodles in their books because the urban counterparts of these children have a bad day in their art classes where the teachers guide the child to copy picture books and can’t stand a child’s art. It’s true that it’s not true in all cases but when urbanity gets defined in a country like India, it gets messed up because we are just imitating the costumes of the west not understanding the principles behind it. The elders are different; they are humble,innocent and filled with knowledge gained from their experiences but still having the element of curiosity. Then, the most deviant are the teenagers who are experiencing ‘urbanity’ in the cities from education and information technology. While we move around we see people and by people I mean that we see them walking, cycling; there are pedestrians, no cars or any other motorised soapboxes which act as barriers between them taking human interaction to its fullest. This pedestrian culture allows them to acknowledge each other’s presence, accommodating them to wave a hand at others in recognition. They know each other, they tend to talk but it’s more of a normal free chitchat than information exchange. The village got ‘engineered by the society’ in such a way that people will get together and interact. We can often see places where a group of people can gather.Anthropologist Desmond Morris stated that social grooming is the way by which bondage happens in primates such as chimpanzees and gorillas. Grooming talk is the succedaneum of social grooming in modern man. People here talk just for talking sake which I believe makes their community sustainable and strong. There are more signs suggesting that this community is open for human interaction. For example the doors in this village are open; inviting and welcoming, suggesting no sign of hostility. People give their wet waste to their neighbor who has buffaloes and cows, a very sophisticated yet simple and sustainable model of waste management and a great way for social bondage where there is give and take gesture. But, like I mentioned, it’s a cacophony. The invasion of urbanity so sudden and rapid is showing a great impact on this settlement. People here haven’t seen ‘garbage’ anywhere in their time. The cow dung produced manure, vegetable peels fed the cows, the old clothes turned out to be mop heads. Now— there is a whole new lot of waste they don’t know about. It can’t be recycled or reused in a way that they are used to. I can imagine just from the reminiscence of their cultural habits, how civilised and elegant the culture was and how ironic that this true urbanity is turning into loose culture due to the invasion of modern urbanity. This is also showing its impact on the education of rural children. The Government of India has introduced anganwadis which are a good way of teaching and engaging toddlers in activities such as playing and singing. This puts less pressure on a rural parent who needs to work. Anganvadis only concentrate on joyful learning methods which are very necessary for the growth of a child. Due to the urban mission the parents who knew nothing and are in an illusion of the urban formal education are demanding the Anganwadi workers to teach reading and writing. Namburu’s culture as I have seen is not materialistic in nature; it accepts annihilation even though sentimental connections between the person and the possession exist. Most of their livelihood centres around nature. Their tools, food, and houses are all not linked to heavy industries. They are self produced in the community or directly available in nature. This makes the products approachable to everyone and if they are damaged they can be gained easily.