Guru Gama: Imparting Traditional Knowledge
The term Guru Gama means a community of respected elders and teachers. The institution of Guru Gama traditionally played a special role in Sri Lankan village life for passing on inherited knowledge, values and lifestyles to younger generations. We are proposing to revitalize the concept of the Guru Gama in the 21st Century.
The Guru Gama will be based upon principles of sustainability and appropriate technology, grounded in traditional values. The staff will include not only indigenous elders, rural women elders, and folklore experts but also IT and hospitality trade ‘gurus’. The facility will operate in Koslanda where it will function in tandem with the Koslanda Sustainable Development Zone.
The Guru Gama will have several functions all of which provide unique value:
Students will be taught traditional practices such as farming, and sit at the feet of respected elders to gain a knowledge of the ancient practices and wisdom of Sri Lanka. They will also receive tuition in computer and English literacy, small business, tourism and hospitality skills. On graduation they will be expected to find employment in Sri Lanka’s fledgling eco-tourism industry or to use their knowledge to start their own businesses.
Capacity building activity
The staff and students of the Guru Gama will provide manpower and information resources to the local region. The Guru Gama will work with the SDZ team to provide knowledge-based support services for villagers in the SDZ – tourism and hospitality training (including interpretation of cultural and natural heritage), agricultural extension, organization of village cooperatives, and creation of non-polluting enterprises.
Documention of traditional lifestyles and practices in the SDZ
Research carried out amongst local elders will safeguard the inherited wisdom localized within the SDZ.
Central repository of data
All knowledge gathered and generated by the Guru Gama will be the property of the community of the SDZ who will have access to it free of charge whenever requested. Modern technology will enable us to store this information securely and manipulate it to extract the maximum value from the data.
Gurugama.org Official web site of Koslanda Guru Gama
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