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Push for documentation of indigenous knowledge

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By Our Reporter

SHILLONG, May 16: A two-day national conference on ‘Indigenous Knowledge, Culture, and Media in North East India’ was inaugurated at North-Eastern Hill University (NEHU), Shillong, with the objective of discussing the importance of documenting and protecting indigenous knowledge in the face of modernization.
Experts highlighted the crucial role of mother languages and media in preserving and promoting indigenous wisdom through storytelling, mentorship, and knowledge exchange. The conference also saw the release of a book titled ‘Indigenous Knowledge, Culture, and Media in North East India’, edited by Prof Manash P Goswami, Kamaljit Chirom, Barath N, and Karen L Donoghue. The book promises to be a significant contribution to the discourse on indigenous knowledge preservation and dissemination in the region.
The inaugural session commenced with a welcome address by Manash P Goswami, the Head of the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication at NEHU.
It was followed by a discussion emphasising the importance of documenting and legally protecting indigenous knowledge in the face of industrialization’s encroachment on traditional wisdom.
Noted author and former Director of Centre for Northeast Studies and Policy Research, Sanjoy Hazarika, who was present at the inaugural of conference as the Guest of Honour, lamented the contemporary journalistic focus on daily events, urging for a more profound engagement with indigenous knowledge and its dissemination to the wider public.
The keynote addressed was delivered by Streamlet Dkhar, Head of the Khasi department, NEHU, and focused on the multifaceted nature of indigenous knowledge, particularly emphasizing the crucial role of mother languages in the cultural fabric of the north-eastern region.
“Even the world has advised to document the Indigenous knowledge and also archive them. Media plays a vital role in promoting Indigenous knowledge and also entertain and educate people, bridging the gap between modernity and tradition,” she added.
She further stressed that Media can play a vital role in preserving the Indigenous knowledge through visual narratives and art. She suggested conserving and preserving the Indigenous knowledge through knowledge exchange, through media, storytelling, mentorship, among other ways.

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