5waraj Workshops

The ISS has jointly worked with 5waraj, an organisation committed to sustainability, to organise workshops that allow the participants to revisit ‘the modern development paradigm’ as we know it today, and confront hitherto hidden impacts of the paradigm with respect to local sustainable development.

What if you were to find out that the best method of achieving sustainable development involved not doing anything?

Consider for a moment that our lives are ruled by the “grass is greener on the other side” phenomenon.

From the language we speak to the food we eat and the clothes we wear involves us being inherently dissatisfied with our current state of being, and aspiring for that which we do not have.

The 5waraj Workshops take up each element of 5waraj (Dialects, Diet, Dress, Dwellings and Dances & songs - henceforth referred to as the ‘D’s) and address them one-at-a-time.  Each one of these parameters is inherently linked to the natural environment, and in nearly all instances they evolve symbiotically with the local climate.

Local dialects have specialized linguistic elements that can describe local environmental phenomena with ease, thus protecting and preserving the same. Local diets, are not only grown locally, but also help bring people's bodies in harmony with the local climate, be it in the desert or in the snow. Local dresses again help keep people comfortable in local climate extremes, and are made using local fibres and tailoring skills. This trend continues onto architecture and music.

Enter the current “development” paradigm where we are trying to get the whole world to fit into one mould.  5waraj is an attempt to re-familiarize us all with the beauty of the five elements and how contextual they are to our very survival and sustainable development.

Via a dialogues and field visits, we shall unravel the strength of local cultural systems and for a moment, listen, just listen to tribal cultures and people and how they have developed their culture in harmony with the natural environment, over hundreds or thousands of years even.