Restorative Dialogue across Cultures
We want to explore and understand this question: Are we divided in Auroville, as local Tamil Aurovilians and non-local Aurovilians?
We have been given a unique opportunity in Auroville to live “unity in diversity,” and in many ways our internal community affairs are quite harmonious and functional, especially so given our rich mix of cultural and socio-economic backgrounds.
And it is also true that we still come across misunderstandings and different ideas of what it means to live in Auroville, and although there are probably many reasons why we lose connection and trust in each other, one of the recurring inquiries is whether our cultural differences and history keep us apart, and if so, how do we bridge the gap and walk towards a truer embodiment of Auroville’s ideal to live in harmony with one another.
There is so much richness and complexity in our 48 years of shared history, and beyond, so we are by no means trying to simplify our story. And yet, it is our interest to explore further this particular angle – our relationship as local to non-local Aurovilians and non- local to local Aurovilians. Over the years, we have had many situations where local Tamil Aurovilians express that they do not feel like they are treated as equals, and that they do not have the same access to resources and opportunities as non-local Aurovilians do. And in response to this, there are just as many explanations about why this is so, indicating that in fact our present cross-cultural reality is much more complex than an exclusive cultural targeting, in one direction or the other.