Cultural Sustainability

Culture is a key element in the concept of sustainable development as it frames people’s relationships and attitudes towards the built and the natural environment.
What is cultural sustainability?
-It is the endurance of a set of distinct norms/rites as seen and practiced by a distinct group in society.
How can we practice cultural sustainability?
-PRESERVATION. Of crafts, architecture, rituals, stories. Practicing ways of maintaining a tangible link to the past. All this defines how a culture would thereby ‘Live on’ in the collective consciousness of the commons.
Why is there a need to practice cultural sustainability?
-Place attachment & memory. Physical artifacts are as important as prejudices,norms and practices. Endurance is a function of tangibility, and needs to bred in the bone.
Based on my understanding on the topic, I can tell you three ways to understand cultural sustainability.
 1. The sustainability OF a culture.
 Ask yourself, is this going to survive in the future context and are the new generations going to maintain it?
2. The sustainability WITHIN a culture.
 Not all cultures in the world understand that, having one agricultural crop is sustainable. This is due to the fact that sustainability changes with time and place. For example, 1 cow per hectare in India can be sustainable, but this stocking rate is not sustainable in other places.
3. The relationship between products and culture .
 Another crucial element that shapes different cultures and their practices. The practices ahead shape their products of use. And later, such products become an important part of the local culture.

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VashramBhai ki Hatdi

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Making of Hatdi is a seasonal craft and happens only during the occasion of Diwali. Last year, around the time of the festival I spent some time with a potter community in Gandhinagar, Gujarat. I was curious to document the making of this craft.


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