Hello everybody !!!

Here is an extract of an inspiring interview of Darshan Shankar, founder of the Foundation for the Revitalization of Local Health Traditions (FRLHT) and chairman of the Institute of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine (IAIM) in Bangalore, India. It was filmed on 16th of june 2010.

In this interview, Darshan explores the challenges of a much needed dialogue between different traditions of knowledge in the contemporary world. What kind of frameworks could permit such dialogues to unfold ?? What are the preconditions ?? How to understand the relationship between "whole" and "part" in the search for knowledge ??

While addressing these questions, Darshan Shankar also points out the need to emancipate ourselves from the imposition of a uniform concept of modernity. The distinction of a "modern advanced West" as opposed to "traditional cultures" hinders the richness of human diversity to express itself fully. In his eyes, cultural diversity is as important for our civilizational evolution as biodiversity is for biological evolution. And it must be understood that all cultures have always been involved in "multicultural modernization processes".

One of the responsibilities of today's intellectuals is to encourage the expression of "traditional knowledge" in order to address contemporary challenges. The emergence of a pluralist horizon is paramount to modify the monocultural track in which world civilization got trapped in the process of Western colonialism.

You may want to put this interview in perspective with the other interview of Darshan Shankar that I uploaded on my Vimeo page a couple of months ago : "'Modern Science' and 'Traditional Knowledge'. A Dialogue". If you understand French, you may also be inspired by my interviews of Robert Vachon.

Last but not least, for those of you eager to deepen the intercultural challenges facing us, check out the website dhdi.org . The interface is in French, but you will find many thought provoking material there also in English, Spanish, Italian ...

Lots of good dialogical and intercultural inspirations to all of you !!!

Christoph

(11/08/2010)

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