Cultural Sustainability Validating the Sustenance of its Architecture: Kanadukathan – A Chettiar Village
An anthropological perspective of architecture of chettinad.
Sustain – to preserve, maintain and to be passed on to future. To meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs"
Culture is an all embracing word which includes all significant aspects of human life beginning from philosophy, social organization , religion and economy, social institutions and meanings etc.
Cultural sustainability – conserving the culture of past and its parameters to continue to future
Cultural imprints - an inevitability in architecture. The bondage between culture and its reflections in architecture is explicitly felt in the villages of chettiars of Tamilnadu,INDIA which reflected their identity and had a belongingness. Architecture and planning are tangible resources of culture.
In Tamilnadu, the land of Tamils,in the southern part of INDIA is CHETTINAD – the land of NATTUKOTTAI, founded by Chettiars,called by their preferred community name – NAGARATHAR – the towns folk, or the sophisticated, in what is essentially a rural area . Kanadukathan is one of the villages which belong to Chettinadu.
This research paper gives an insight to how the architecture of the dwellings and the planning of chettiar villages had been the expression of their strong culture itself. It researches on how the Cultural parameters like Family system (kudumbham), Role of Men and women, distribution of power, kinship, society,structure, religion, caste, marriage, privacy, family life, myth, folklore, ideology cosmology, symbolism and beliefs, Ceremonies and rituals, indigenous knowledge and traditional practice,interaction and public participation art and creativity manifested in and dictated the architectural form and details of the houses and the planning of settlements of chettiars who had a verystrong culture. It proves that Architecture and planning are tangible resources of culture.
This looks… at chettiar culture as topical- which consists of social organization, religion or economy,chettiar culture as historical – social heritage,tradition that is passed on to future generations, chettiar culture as behavioral – shared and learned behaviour, a way of life, chettiar culture as normative - filled with ideals, values,rules for living. chettiar culture as functional – as problem solving adapting to environment or living together, chettiar culture asstructural – consisting of patterened and interrelated ideas, symbols or behaviours, chettiar culture as symbolic - based on assigned meanings that are shared by a society.
This paper also throws light on how their strong sustained culture irrespective of globalization, migration, technology and communication advancement, exposure and changing pattern had validated the sustainence of this culture dictated characteristic heritage chettiar houses in their original context to be passed on to the future generations.
Keywords: Architectural sustenance by culture sustainability
PhD. candidate, School of Architecture and Planning, Anna University, Chennai, Tamilnadu
Heading the Department - School of Architecture and Planning, Anna University, Chennai, Tamilnadu, India. Guiding PhD scholars & MS by research scholars.
Co-Author: Ar. Kumudhavalli Sasidhar,
Doing research in cultural manifestations in Architecture & Planning, and Assistant Professor at MEASI Academy of Architecture, Chennai.