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Sustainability 2010, 2(4), 1080-1100; doi:10.3390/su2041080
Article

Cultural Resilience—The Roles of Cultural Traditions in Sustaining Rural Livelihoods: A Case Study from Rural Kandyan Villages in Central Sri Lanka

Department of Geography, University of Otago, P.O. Box 56, Dunedin 9054, New Zealand
Received: 1 March 2010 / Revised: 9 March 2010 / Accepted: 11 March 2010 / Published: 21 April 2010
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Human Populations in Remote Places)
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Abstract

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.
Keywords: culture; resilience; rural communities; livelihoods; Kandy; Sri Lanka culture; resilience; rural communities; livelihoods; Kandy; Sri Lanka
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Daskon, C.D. Cultural Resilience—The Roles of Cultural Traditions in Sustaining Rural Livelihoods: A Case Study from Rural Kandyan Villages in Central Sri Lanka. Sustainability 2010, 2, 1080-1100.

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