Understanding anew the value of an everyday life with its roots in nong

Shun Hing CHAN

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“Every person is a farmer,” said Mr Zhou Yuanbin from the Waldorf School in Chengdu when describing the Waldorf educational philosophy at the Taking Root: Vitalising CSA seminar. His words clicked in my mind as though something had become clear to me. My idea about rebuilding the relationship between the community and nong seemed to be on the same wavelength. I would try to interpret Mr Zhou’s words, summarised as ‘the nong complex’, from two perspectives. Firstly, farmers and soil, representing the whole of nature, are intimately connected. Every person is closely connected with the soil. On the one hand, we could not live without the food that grows from it; our physical bodies are the incarnation of the food we eat and ultimately the soil from which it springs. On the other hand, when we die our bodies return to the soil and nourish new life. However, modern urban dwellers have become too distant from nong and soil. We have forgotten our original identity as farmers and cannot grasp the idea or the wisdom of shen tu bu er, the non-duality of body and earth. If we could identify spiritually with the idea that every person is a farmer, urban dwellers would relate with, admire and be grateful to farmers who toil throughout the year working the land to grow the crops that feed us all. We might even be willing to go back to the land and try to unearth our lost instinct for farming or learn about how it is done. In this way, we may reveal the hidden face of nong in human beings.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTouching the heart, taking root : CSA in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Mainland China
PublisherPartnerships for Community Development
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015

Bibliographical note

Translated version of 陈顺馨 (2014)。再认识以农为本生活的价值。輯於陈惠芳、周玉珠 (執行编辑),《落地生根 : 社区支持农业之甦动》(頁25-35)。香港 : 社区伙伴。 ISBN of the source publication: 9789889994358


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