Dear India,

I come from America. Many of you tell me how wonderful you think our culture is, especially the youth.

I can not help but see much of my culture influencing yours: television programs, fashion styles, popularity of eating in hotels, mass migration of Indians to America and Europe for jobs and education, corporate style businesses, politics, popular love marriages, shopping malls and even skin whitening creams.

But as these new fashions come I am watching what they are replacing. The English language replaces native languages in schools. White skin is prized over dark shades in advertisements and TV serials. It is rare that I have seen a woman under 30 years wearing a saree or a man in dhoti and upper-cloth.

There is a revolution happening in my country right now. Many cities in each of our 50 states are protesting our existing infrastructure. An estimated 951 cities in 82 countries are participating in this rebellion of the globalization of consumer culture. Why are we, the richest culture in the world, so unhappy?

I feel in some way responsible for the changes in India, and because I was born and raised in that culture I can share some information with you. My culture is not what they tell you on Television, in advertisements or in Hollywood. Journalist Chris Hedges describes it in the following statements:

The corporate culture, epitomized by Goldman Sachs, has seeped into our classrooms, our newsrooms, our entertainment systems and our consciousness. This corporate culture has stripped us of the right to express ourselves outside of the narrowly accepted confines of the established political order. It has turned us into compliant consumers.

Profit. Globalization. War. National security. These are the words they use to justify the snuffing out of tiny lives, acts of radical evil. Goldman Sachs’ commodities index is the most heavily traded in the world. Those who trade it have, by buying up and hoarding commodities futures, doubled and tripled the costs of wheat, rice and corn. Hundreds of millions of poor across the globe are going hungry to feed this mania for profit. The technical jargon, learned in business schools and on trading floors, effectively masks the reality of what is happening—murder.

Get back into your cages, they are telling us. Return to watching the lies, absurdities, trivia and celebrity gossip we feed you in 24-hour cycles on television. Invest your emotional energy in the vast system of popular entertainment. Run up your credit card debt. Pay your loans. Be thankful for the scraps we toss. Chant back to us our phrases about democracy, greatness and freedom. Vote in our rigged political theater. Send your young men and women to fight and die in useless, unwinnable wars that provide corporations with huge profits.

My ancestors, the natives, who lived in harmony with the land predicted the outcome of the European settlement in America:

“…Either the White Man would bring peace and harmony or attempt to totally destroy the Indian’s [Native American’s]  way of life and take all his possessions and the land. If the latter occurred, (which is clearly the case today) there would come a time when the [Native American] people would appear to be almost non-existent. Yet, one day, they would rise out of nowhere, as the white race is falling due to their own ignorance and destruction, to lead a spiritual revolution, so all people on this continent would become attuned to the Great Spirit. To hold fast to the traditional ways even if it seemed that everything was against them. To protect Four Corners at all cost, because there is great power under the land that if it is allowed to escape, great destruction would result. Today, the Indians [Native Americans] are going through the test to hold onto their traditional ways and protect the land. The White Man’s society is trying to swallow the Indians [Native Americans] up. Many of their people, especially the young, are falling prey to the White Man’s ways.” (1)

Unfortunately my ancestor’s words were true but few listened. Now, more and more people in my country are giving up money and rich lifestyles,  changing their priorities and values, choosing to live with less material comforts in hopes to regain health and happiness. They are coming to India to learn these invaluable lessons because we have lost it.

Maybe you feel you are getting richer by following the model of the west, that your lives are improving. Now you have cars for transportation, television entertainment, and you can buy more materials that, for now, make your life easier. Our model wants to turn every Indian into a consumer who will spend their hard-earned money on objects that they don’t really need by creating unnecessary desire. There is documented research that compares consumerism and happiness of people. The ones who consume the most are the least happy in the world. If you are happy as you are, you do not need anything. Our system thrives on keeping our people in a state of unhappiness and discontent with their lives, so that greedy people who worship money over God will get rich. My culture may appear to have given you prosperity, science, education and healthcare advances but I beg you to please consider the costs and disadvantages.

Where have all the oxen gone?

We have sold you a system which relies entirely on a limited supply of fossil fuels, a system that creates enormous waste rather than food for other creatures, a system which is cutting down your forests and polluting your Bharat. Our culture developed chemical weapons for wars. The companies who make these chemicals wanted more profits so now they have convinced our farmers and yours that we should spray these warfare chemicals onto our food. Every family in India is affected by the greed of such corporations. Most chemicals (including food preservatives), most of our science and medical practices has not been time-tested, particularly not tested on humans but we are seeing the results and they are not good. India, you have the capacity to be a great leader of the world, but not by following our footsteps- we are collapsing.

Please turn back now before it is too late, before your parents and grandparents die and there is no one to help you find your way. My culture is a dead-end road. Innovation is not a bad thing but look to your elders and ancestors for advice. Your traditions have been tested over time for centuries. In fact, India is the oldest living culture, dating back to the rshis. There is a reason why your traditions exist even if you do not know why today. Follow them and educate yourself on why they are so important and why my culture is coming to India to learn them. Be proud of your wise culture and traditions because once the thread from your ancestors to you is broken, it will not be like before and you will someday regret it. Your mother and father will someday die. If you do not learn your mother’s cooking, which came from your grandmother and her mother, what will your children eat? Who will cook these wonderful dishes if you don’t learn them yourself? Your ancestor’s knowledge is your greatest asset and heritage. What will your western educations and lifestyles give your children in comparison?

My money is worth more than yours, my house is probably bigger and more well-built, our roads are better, my rice and daals are clean from insects and stones and so many more comforts. What I am telling you is that my children will not have the same comforts in their future. But you India, you still have time to look at the big picture and make the wise and sustainable choices for your ancestors and your future generations.

India, you are rich. Richer than all the western countries combined. Rich in priceless treasures your ancestors have struggled to preserve for you. No one can take these treasures away from you. They are lost when you forget them.

Love,

America.

 

 

 

For more information and resources:

(1) Transmission by Native American Elder Thomas Bancyaca

http://www.welcomehome.org/rainbow/prophecy/banyacya.html

Speech at the United Nations: http://www.welcomehome.org/rainbow/prophecy/hopi.html

(2) Declaration by my people against existing infrastructure:

http://www.nycga.net/resources/declaration/

(3) India ranks higher score than any western country on the World Happiness Index:

http://www.happyplanetindex.org/

(4) Chris Hedges Columns: http://www.truthdig.com

First rinse your dishes and apply any one of the following:

1. Ash from your fireplace
2. Dry smooth dirt mostly free of stones
3. Soapnut powder

Use your hands or a natural scrubbing device like a loofah sponge, dry coconut husk or coarse jute rope wrapped up.

Rinse & enjoy clean dishes

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