Cultural Resilience—The Roles of Cultural Traditions in Sustaining Rural Livelihoods: A Case Study from Rural Kandyan Villages in Central Sri Lanka
The reasons for the significance of cultural values are complex and many advocacy groups have not successfully provided clear explanations for and convincing arguments in favor of prioritizing cultural values in the development processes. The aim of this paper is to examine the roles played by culture in relation to livelihood resilience, posing the question of how cultural traditions might potentially offer alternatives/adaptive strategies, not only to strength livelihood assets of rural communities, but also in generating new opportunities during vulnerabilities caused by economic, social and political changes. Rural Kandyan communities afford us a good example of “cultural resilience”, relying on longstanding cultural traditions for their survival. This paper shows how culture and traditional values strengthen livelihood resilience and argues that while the impulse for change may come from external influences, adaptation comes from within, through dynamics, which are specific to values of the people.
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