Getting outside is for everyone | Finding Solutions | 2014 | Summer | Publications | David Suzuki Foundation
Photo: Getting outside is for everyone

By Harpreet Johal

One thing that makes the David Suzuki Foundation unique is our relationships with diverse communities. Since 2010, we've expanded our reach by conducting public dialogues, media interviews and outreach campaigns in Punjabi, Mandarin and Cantonese.

One example is the annual Punjabi by Nature campaign, a tailored version of our 30×30 Nature Challenge, which encourages people to go outside in nature for 30 minutes a day for 30 consecutive days. By fusing bhangra (Punjabi folk dance) with nature, people are now dancing their ways through the woods.

Three things we've learned from Punjabi by Nature:

  1. Treat nature like family — The Sikh text Guru Granth Sahib says, "Pavan guru paani pita maata dharat mahat," which translates to "Air is the teacher, water the father, and Earth the great mother of all." It really is true — nature crosses all cultures and geographical borders.
  2. Wisdom from elders — Elders hold a wealth of knowledge from seeing the world change and grow. For those who've emigrated from other countries, the experience and perspective is especially rich. Some have seen their homelands go from lush forests and farmlands to desolate fields and pavement. Elders understand the need to protect our right to clean air, water and soil for future generations. They're also big advocates for getting young people off their computers and enjoying the great outdoors!
  3. Food, family and friends — The family that eats together goes outside in nature together. Whether it's a sandwich or a roti, food is a great way to persuade family and friends to get outside. So pack your picnic basket, grab a Frisbee or cricket bat and get your daily dose of nature this summer. It's good for all of us.