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Traditional Living Communities And Permaculture:
A series of videos on the traditional self sufficient lifestyle in Ladakh, the impacts modernization of that society is having and what we can learn from that.

Traditional Ladakh Self Sufficient Culture:
Video 1
(15 minutes)...

Here are a few insights that might be gained from these videos that helps us see how we might design our own neighbourhoods:

# 1: Over 95% Home Ownership

In traditional Ladakh culture over 95% of homes are owned by the extended families living in them.

People living in their own homes tend to take better care of them and the land around them.

They also have a tendency to take more effort to become a working part of the community around them because they feel they are a genuine part of that community...not just someone there temporarily or passing through.

You grow the most from relationships you can't escape and you make the most of situations you feel you can't change (or don't want to change).

# 2: Population Control

In Ladakh culture they were very much aware of the limits of what their land could provide with long cold winters and a short cropping season.

The size of families was very much kept within the limits of what the land could provide for.

# 3: Western Education Problems

As modern education was introduced to Ladakh it created problems.

The most relevant to the western world was the tendency for education to train people for specialized employment.

Unfortunately if jobs are not available then all you've achieved is training someone into unemployment.

People living a self sufficient lifestyle are never unemployed (or always unemployed depending on how you look at it). But their needs are met as a part of their lifestyle.

That's not suggesting for a second that education has no value...just pointing out the weaknesses and inadequacies of the modern curriculum.

In western culture we need to look at our education system to make it more flexible in an age where many of the specialized jobs in the future will be in fields that don't even exist now.

It would also seem to be wise for practical experience in growing food, natural building, ecological and community design to be a major part of what we teach.

Put another way if what we want in our culture is happy, healthy people who have access to clean water, good food, safe shelter and a variety of fufilling activities with other people in their neighborhood then education should be teaching the skills that allow that to happen.

# 4: Self Sufficiency Creates Economic Stability

When you grow your own food using inputs right there on your land there is no price attached to the food.

There may be some work involved and the amount of work may change from year to year.

But when you buy food you become vunerable to both national and international food markets.

Huge price increases in the price of food could mean deprivation or starvation.

The same goes for many other basic needs.

Having a base of self sufficiency in a neighborhood creates economic stability in that neighborhood because any trading that goes on is mainly for non essentials.

Any increase in the price of non essentials does not have a profound effect on the lifestyle of the self sufficient neighbourhood.

# 5: Cashless Economies Are Not Measured In GDP

Because governments measure growth and the wealth of a nation in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and that is measured by produce which is traded for cash any cashless economy is not measured in that wealth.

Yet many studies have shown that self sufficient cultures are wealthy not only in the economic stability of their culture but in many other vital areas...especially areas that involve social interaction and the raising of children.

Measuring a societies wealth just in GDP is a poor measure.

We need to pay far more attention to the value of intangibles in our interaction, cashless trading and sharing between neighbors, the sharing of resonsibilities like child rearing and care of the aged and infirm, participation in neighborhood activities and sports etc etc.

These are the real glue that hold neighborhoods together and provide tremendous human satisfaction and happiness.

Video 2: Learning From Ancient Ladakh Culture
(14 minutes 42 seconds)...

Video 3: Self Sufficient Ladakh Culture
(14 minutes 42 seconds)...

Video 4: Modernization Of Anicent Ladakh Culture
(14 minutes 42 seconds)...

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