01-11-2017 - 06:01:01
Nurturing Customary Based Wellbeing: An Approach to Biological Human Ecology Theory
- To fully and thoroughly understand the Hmong people living in Long Lan village in Luang Prabang province of Laos, it may require five post- doctoral theses on: 1) traditional economic institutions at the micro level; 2) cultural, political and social anthropology; 3) non-bureaucratic governance science; 4) community entrepreneurship and ecological capital; and 5) theory on sustainability. Meanwhile, the author, in writing this book, has focused on three vicious circles: 1) being isolated; 2) in- confidence; and 3) no rights to exist equally, as well as their effect upon indigenous ethnic minorities whose lives are dependent on forest, and the consequences of ‘hunger, poverty and backwardness’ and how they can be overcome. From whom, when and where the conditions of ‘hunger, poverty and backwardness’ come from, and how they can be overcome, is a question for people to think about.
Mankind has witnessed tough wars, and conflicts occur frequently all over the world. However, losses of moral values and interactions between people that happen every hour cause even more pain, but seem not to be seen. The game of hegemony played by powerful countries by abusing natural resources all over the world and the lack of knowledge of weak countries has nearly come to an end. The consequences of 200 years of continued exploitation are visible, causing irresolvable problems for the unscrupulous people who once were triumphant. It is high time for them to stop the game and to understand the Buddhist teaching ‘man is his own enemy’.
Like the Kingdom of Bhutan in the Himalayas, that has had 43 years of resisting money-driven capitalism and GDP driven development in order to maintain their values of inner happiness toward the achievement of Gross National Happiness (GNH), Long Lan village, which is located in the Phu Sung area at 800m above sea level, 40km Northeast of the 9 Nurturing Customary Based Wellbeing UNESCO’s world cultural heritage city of Luang Prabang in Laos, demonstrates factors and indicators of livelihood sovereignty and wellbeing similar to those of GNH, and can be a perfect demonstration of the five above imagined post-doctoral theses. The author likens Long Lan to ‘a garden of knowledge and experience of flexible and convincing integration between customary law and statutory law’ for protecting natural resources and nurturing social identity.
On the occasion of the International Conference on Gross National Happiness (GNH) to celebrate the 60th birthday of His Majesty the King’s Father Jigme Singye Wangchuck of the Kingdom of Bhutan on November 3-6, 2015 in Paro, Bhutan, we would like to introduce you to the book ‘Nurturing Customary Based Wellbeing’ - the story of the process of 16 years of the Centre for Human Ecology Studies of Highlands (CHESH) learning from Long Lan village, from Luang Prabang Provincial People’s Committee and Luang Prabang’s Department of Agriculture and Forestry. Given our limitations over time and resources we apologise for any mistake if they still remain in this book and look forwards your understanding. We welcome reader’s critiques and comments. Contact us for hard copies.