Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Vernacular knowlege and vernacular schools

The directions are eight – toorpu (E), paramata(W), uttaram(N), dakshinam(S), aagnaeyam(SE), neiruthi(SW),vaayavyam(NW), eesaanyam(NE). The months (with associated festivals) are Pandagai (Sankranthi), Thai (Tayemasi), Masi (Sivaratri), Phanguni (Ugadi) , Chitrai (Gangamma), Vaiyasi, Peddavadi/ Aadi (Kaavadi) , Chinnavadi/ Avani (Vinayaka Chaturthi) , Indaapi, Tiruveli (Govindalu) , Nomulu (Deepavali) , Karthikai (Karthikai). They are lunar months and so different from the English months. The Telugu months, fortnights (karthes) and star configurations determine crop planting times and festivals.

The eight directions are the basis of vaasthu, or traditional architechture. Heat and cold are basic concepts that decide the properties of food and medicine. Discourse is based on these concepts. So an understanding of these is essential to engage with the ideas.

A Telugu medium government textbook defines directions as eight and months as Telugu months. English medium textbooks define directions as four as in the western paradigm, and never mention the Indian months. Vernacular education is more in sync with local paradigms. With loss of  the vernacular medium, there will also be a loss of validity of vernacular knowledge.

No comments:

Post a Comment