Protecting the environment and nurturing peace are global concerns requiring scholarly attention across and within cultures. This essay proposes that cross-cultural exchange serves as an invaluable approach to the goal of communicating about creating a healthy environment and everyday peace. We examine how Wangari Maathai interpreted the meaning and purpose of Mottainai as a global call to save the environment. Mottainai is an ancient Japanese concept that means “Don’t waste! What a waste!” Of interest to us is establishing Maathai’s motivation to employ the concept of Mottainai as informed by her lived experiences in Kenya. The relevance of Mottainai to Maathai’s environmental work offers lessons for global concerns about peace. There is an opportunity to grow peace work by extending its focus to commonalities between various forms of local knowledge, beliefs, values and skills.
Mutua, Eddah and Omori, Kikuko
"A Cross-Cultural Approach to Environmental and Peace Work: Wangari Maathai’s Use of Mottainai in Kenya,"
The Journal of Social Encounters:
Available at: https://digitalcommons.csbsju.edu/social_encounters/vol2/iss1/3