Kashmir autonomy, 2019 VS Ladakh, 1990s, Helena Norberg Hodge


This morning a woman in beautiful but to me foreign “traditional” clothing explained her cause as we walked from Coupa Cafe to Anna Eshoo’s office. In case, like me, you flipped thru The New York Times too quickly in the last six weeks, on August 5, the government of India had rescinded the autonomy of Kashmir, a mostly Muslim territory. I would only assume she was appealing to Eshoo to get her to urge her colleagues — and We The People by extension — to do something, to restore autonomy in Kashmir.

It reminded me, perhaps crudely, of working with Helena Norberg-Hodge to market her documentary “Ancient Futures: Learning from Ladakh”. Like Kashmir, Ladakh traditionally was an independent nation — of Himalayan cutlure, Buddhism, traditional farming — until annexed by India, mostly Hindu, and more advanced or developed. Norberg-Hodge’s work focused on the effects of a quick introduction of technology and media to Ladakh: boys and men suddenly riding mopeds and wearing leather jackets, and influenced by GI Joe and Rambo.

(Today also in some ways reminds me of the day I met Hakan Sukar the Turkish soccer player, on Bryant–like I admitted, my mind jumpcuts).

I noted, in researching this story, that the Times had a column by a Hindu ex-pat who cannot go back to Kashmir either. Obviously the story is more complex than one can glean from a single source, or a solitary discussion.

F_, my new neighbor and friend and teacher, and I discussed whether Anna was Armenian — I recalled middle eastern but something more “exotic” – I think its Orthodox. (Ok, Chaldean Catholic of Assyrian and Armenian heritage; or NorCal, as we say. NorCal Normal).

Also, as I write this I am watching a Giants game and on the mound and about to bat is “The Shark” who on his greatest day outran the Stanford football secondary for a touchdown for Notre Dame, the Catholic football power. One swing, #29 Samardzjia gets a hit before I can fact-check his name. (Followed of course by Yastrezemski). (He has 63 pitches but losing to The Pirates in the top of the 5th)(86 pitches top 3 but still trailing by 3, 1,2 — yanked so to speak my Bochy after 95 throws)

Is “beauty” universal or bounded by culture?

I also flashed to — and streamed — Led Zeppelin “Kashmir” and its “shangri-la” lyric which AutoCorrect wants to call shanghai. It’s mostly a red herring.

F- she said is affiliated with a Muslim center in Mountain View – Google seems to place it near Fred’s Bar and Mike’s Bikes. (By the way, Palo Alto’s new mosque was built by a different ethnic group, but also Muslims from India. “wealthier” according to F-).

from The Ladakh Project

And: Now I really am spinning: but I thought of Sports Illustrated Muslim swimwear and then a scene from “Grit” a PBS documentary of an Indonesian woman swimming in a similar outfit.
AndAnd but not Anand: PBS radio interview Terry Gross with “Tan” “Natural Tan” a Pakistani fashion consultant to “Queer Eye For the Straight Guy”. Spinning and swimming.

But, yes, a clave now in Plastic Alto and my gray matter is acknowledging Islam.

This is mud in Indonesia buryng art and eventually people.

edit to add: HNH:Author and filmmaker Helena Norberg-Hodge is the founder and director of Local Futures. A pioneer of the ‘new economy’ movement, she has been promoting an economics of personal, social, and ecological well-being for more than thirty years. She is the producer and co-director of the award-winning documentary The Economics of Happiness. She has authored several books, including the inspirational classic Ancient Futures: Learning from Ladakh and Local is Our Future: Steps to an Economics of Happiness (described by author David Korten as “a must-read book for our time”). She has given public lectures in seven languages, and has appeared in broadcast, print, and online media worldwide, including MSNBC, The London Times, The Sydney Morning Herald, and The Guardian. She was honored with the Right Livelihood Award (or ‘Alternative Nobel Prize’) for her groundbreaking work in Ladakh, and received the 2012 Goi Peace Prize for contributing to “the revitalization of cultural and biological diversity, and the strengthening of local communities and economies worldwide.” For a complete biography, see here: Helena Norberg-Hodge.

Helena Norberg Hodge: Right LIvelihood Award, the alt Nobel Prize, winner

last word goes to Rania Matar, photograph of a Muslim refugee in Beirut:

About markweiss86

Mark Weiss, founder of Plastic Alto blog, is a concert promoter and artist manager in Palo Alto, as Earthwise Productions, with background as journalist, advertising copywriter, book store returns desk, college radio producer, city council and commissions candidate, high school basketball player; he also sang in local choir, and fronts an Allen Ginsberg tribute Beat Hotel Rm 32
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