april 11

JP: Bæredygtig kærlighed

111  kommentarer

Sidste søndags rekord-affaldsindsamling. En muslimsk inder og hans kærlighed til Kolkata/Calcutta. Hvad har de to ting med hinanden at gøre? Meget, viser det sig. For begge dele handler om en særlig form for bevidsthed, der er ved at blive allemandseje. Heldigvis!  

Han sidder i rendestenen, kun iført sit lændeklæde, og vasker sig med vand fra brandhanen. Sæbeskummet løber i en boblende strøm væk fra ham ned ad gaden og ved siden af ham står en anden ældre mand, der er ved at tørre sig efter sit bad. 

 

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”De har faktisk rindende vand i husene,” siger vores guide, ”men nogle synes det er lettere at tage et bad på gaden.” I mit hoved giver denne sætning ikke rigtig mening. Men efter nogle få dage i Kolkata, har jeg overgivet mig til, at byen lever efter en anden logik end min. Hvilket jeg naturligvis var forberedt på, for det var én af grundene til, at jeg gerne ville besøge byen. ”Det er Indiens Paris, en rigtig kæresteby!”, havde min Indiensekspert, Karen Stigsen, givet løfter om. Mens andre rynkede bryn og gav advarsler om fattigdom, snavs og tiggeri – hvilket viste sig at være tomme fordomme.

For vi blev jo komplet forelskede i denne smukke by med det rolige og venlige tempo og som indtil 1911 var Indiens hovedstad under navnet Calcutta; et navn, der først i 2001 blev ændret til det bengalske Kolkata, som en ekstra markering af frigørelsen fra det britiske styre. Fra morgen til aften var vi omgivet af en særlig varm og gylden æstetik, der er svær at beskrive, og nok mest skal opleves, ligesom den sympatiske stemning af tilbagelænet venlig coolness. Vi vandrede rundt på de gamle smalle stræder mellem de halvhøje huse i portugisisk kolonistil, der fremstod med en fremmed værdighed i al deres pompøse slitage, og fandt vej i gadernes uendelighed af kringelkroge, der bragte os ind og ud af markeder, der alle var rene farveeksplosioner i et ordnet kaos af eksotiske madvarer, og frem og tilbage fra synagoger, templer, kirker, moskeer og andre religiøse huse. Vi fik chai-te serveret i små rå lerkrus på flere gadehjørner, smagte os igennem ubestemmelige bagværk, fritureudgaver af alt muligt, bænkede os ved flere gadekøkkener, så gamle victorianske mindesmærker, museer, parker og indtog i det hele taget byen på mange forskellige måder. 

Og alt dette skete, fordi Iftekhar Ahsan i 2007 fik sat menneskeben på sin drøm ved at skabe guidefirmaet Calcutta Walks, som tager turister med rundt på kulturelle vandreture i byen med de vildeste nørder som guides, der lader til at vide ALT om byen. Fire år i træk har han vundet TripAdvisors Certificate of Excellence,så hans idé har vist sig at holde: Jo, vi andre elsker også hans by, når vi lærer den at kende gennem hans kærlighed til den, og jo, der skal passes på den. For i sidste ende handler det meget mindre om mursten og mindesmærker, og meget mere om de mennesker, der engang skabte historie og de mennesker, der i dag lever og skaber den. 

Men mest af alt handler det om at leve bæredygtigt i pagt med andre og kloden. Derfor vil han også skabe en bevægelse, hvor byens forfaldne huse får liv og værdighed igen ved at blive sat i stand. Mange af de gamle smukke huse står nemlig og forfalder, fordi lejen pga loven ikke bliver reguleret løbende, og det betyder, at alt for mange lejere betaler latterlige beløb for mange kvadratmeter, hvilket igen medfører, at ejerne ikke gider at vedligeholde. Og da lejerne kun er lejere, gider de heller ikke. 

Men Ifte gider godt. Og derfor har han som et eksempel skabt det lille vidunderlige Calcutta Bungalow, som engang var en gammel kasse af forfald, og som i dag er det smukkeste boutique hotel, skabt af kasserede materialer. En lille perle af værdier om bæredygtighed, som inspirerer hele verden, når den kommer på besøg.

Hans tanker og handlinger er helt i takt med den gryende verdensbevidsthed om balance og gensidighed, som især de yngre generationer er optaget af. Retail Institute Scandinavia har lavet en undersøgelse blandt de unge, der viser, at 75 procent af generation Y (født mellem 1980-1995) og 83 procent af Z’erne (født mellem 1996-2010) mener, at et brands eller et produkts bæredygtige profil er vigtig i forhold til at ville købe deres produkter. Dette fokus er blevet personificeret af den svenske skoleelev og klimaaktivist, Greta Thunberg, som i august sidste år startede den første skolestrejke for klimaet foran Riksdagen i Stockholm og som i dag er blevet nomineret til Nobels Fredspris. 

Dette er en reaktion på, hvordan den moderne verden producerer en afsindig mængde af skrald, blandt andet fordi vi (endnu) ikke er tvunget til at genbruge særligt meget. Selvom Danmark har en ret disciplineret kultur med hensyn til skrald, var der ikke desto mindre god brug for de 200.000 mennesker, der i søndags gik rundt med plastiksække med grønt logo på og samlede gamle McDonald ketchup-poser, dildoer, cykelstyr og åbenbart også et klaver ind, så skraldet kunne komme væk fra naturen og ud til en forbrændingsanstalt. Eller videre til en ny ejer. 

Så jo, bevidstheden om helhed, om ansvarligt forbrug og om den gensidighed, der er nødvendig, hvis vi skal kunne blive ved med at leve sammen på den samme klode, er stigende. 

Derfor er mennesker som Ifte og Greta fremtiden. Og initiativer som affaldsindsamlingen. Det vi alle skal hengive os til er bevidstheden om, at verden ikke er til for os – men derimod at er vi en del af verden, så hvis jeg shitter den, så shitter jeg lige så meget mig selv. I forlængelse af dette, må Branson, Musk og de andre iværksættere også meget snart diske op med en flyver, der ikke sviner, så vi ikke bare skal møde hinanden og udveksle idéer om bæredygtighed gennem en fremmedgørende elektronik, men derimod kan sidde i samme rum og skabe den nye verden. Sammen. 

Kronik bragt i Jyllands-Posten d. 06.04.2019


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