Leisure in the 'less Known World': A Study of Leisure and Recreation Among the Van Gujjar Tribes of India

Monday, 16 July 2018: 17:50
Oral Presentation
Onima SHARMA, D.A.V. (PG) College, Dehradun; Uttarakhand, India
Archana PAL, DAV (PG) College Dehradun, Uttarakhand, India
Van Gujjars are a pastoral semi nomadic community, practicing transhumance and are inhabitants of the Himalayan belt, stretching from Kashmir to the border between India and Nepal. Van Gujjars are most marginalized, non literate, not very well known pastoralists. Life for them is all about survival and perpetual movement.

Each culture has an impact on its society's leisure influencing to some degree what people do in their leisure time, which leisure activities take priority over others and how much time and money people spend in different leisure activities. The usual definitions of leisure are not adequate to explain the nature and experience of leisure and recreation of the tribes. Tribal people do not make the same sharp distinction between work and leisure that more technologically advanced societies do. The effects of modernization and globalization has blurred the already ambiguous boundaries between work and leisure. These forces are causing an overall commercialization of leisure, which denies access of leisure facilities to the money poor. The present study aims to understand the meaning and purpose of leisure to the Van Gujjars. It also attempts to examine the Van Gujjars value systems in general, with their relationships to leisure beliefs, attitudes and behaviours. The study is based on qualitative research with the use of both primary and secondary data and a combination of purposive and snowball sampling method. A sample size of twenty five 'deras' (households) living in Rajaji National Park, Uttarakhand (India) has been used for the study. It was seen in the study that whatever the Van Gujjars do, whatever they have and whatever they earn for their livelihood is within the ambit of the forest they live in. They are technologically cut off in this globalized world and are isolated from the mainstream culture of the land.