Monday, December 22, 2008

Dialogue on Modernisation and Tribal Culture

17th to 19th Dec 2008 – Vikas Maitri, Ranchi

OPEN SPACE in Collaboration with Gender, Livelihoods and Resources Forum (GLRF)

Elina Horo

All communities are based on certain values and any sustainable change can only come about if these societal and human values are impacted upon. This can be done by addressing the proper functioning and reform of the various institutions of this societal structure – family, religion, schools, media and State.

Most of the tribal communities are patriarchal with lineage depending on the male, and only few amongst north eastern tribes are matriarchal. But even within them men have most control in decision making.

The tribal culture is progressive in manners compared to other communities. Gender equity is defined amongst them with the description of men and women and dancing together, and together earning for the families.

Kalyani Meena

Modernisation has brought in new values where tribal families based in cities are striving to sustain their value systems – those of community living and gender equity. There is trend for apartment living with nuclear families.

The tribes which have high education rate are having the maximum level of migration. The rural tribal population is filled with anger towards this ‘displacement’. But the solution does not lie in stopping girls to go outside the State in search of work. With the development of education and modern technology in the lives of Ranchi tribals, there is need for information and protective justice system, sensitive to the issues and lives of tribal community.

The impact of Christianity is evident in many forms with the acceptance of education as a development tool. The religious / spiritual values have also undergone a change, with less belief in spirits. Other positive social outcomes have been the restraint from marrying more than once and drinking liquor.

Vandana Tete

But one needs to be cautious of any action of cultural fascism like the incidents that happened in Kandhamal (Orissa). Jharkhand has to bridge the gap between Sarna and Christian tribals which emerged in the recent ‘Nemha’ Bible incident.

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