Magical Mawlynnong

Ever heard of a village where the locals are worshippers of nature, where tourists are greeted with Dos and Don’ts on how to keep the village clean, where dustbins made out of bamboo dot the entire village-scape, where waste from the dustbins is stored in pits to be later used as organic manure, where villagers take turns to sweep the roads and public areas and lessons on cleanliness are part of the curriculum at the local schools, where a bridge made out of living roots of banyan trees is used instead of unnatural concrete structures? This same village, also known as ‘God’s own Garden’, has won itself the title of ‘the Cleanest Village in Asia’.

Nestled in the East Khasi hills of Meghalaya, the Mawlynnong village is a two hour drive from Shillong, the state capital, placing the ‘Cleanest village of Asia’ on the Indian soil!

Apart from being instant therapy for sore eyes, the village also offers an unusual sight of women manning the shops everywhere. This is only a reflection of the age old traditions of the Khasi tribe, one of the world’s last surviving matrilineal societies, where the woman is considered the mistress of the household and the sole inheritor of the family’s wealth and property. She is considered the custodian of her clan, family and lineage and every child inherits its mother’s title, hence eliminating the concept of an illegitimate child!

“Those small primitive societies where God is thought of as a woman have not been able to achieve weapons, destructive methods. They have not been fighting; there have been no wars in a matriarchal society. The fact has to be considered. The man-made society has been doing only one thing, continuously fighting.”

– Osho,From Death to Deathlessness, Ch 25, Q 1 (excerpt)

This little treasure in the lap of nature holds essential lessons for the human race and makes one wonder if the rest of India can follow suit!

– by Aditi Bhatia