New Old Mongolia
„Wealth means also burden for a nomad. To care for it, would be a wast of time fed with bewaring things.“ (Amelie Schenk, „In einem deckellosen Land“)
Amelie Schenk, Mongolia traveller and scientst of shaman culture, pictures this old wisdom in one of her books about the nomads. Minimalism, modesty as a goodness, connectivity with the nature and the simple but free life is sagacity of the nomadic people which push us to travel this huge country.
Because it seems to us that there is only one place in this world left, where we can face this things: In the endless stepp of Mongolia.
But, as we cross the border, we find a new, flat highway to the capital. We are amazed. And Ulaanbator, aswell, is a metropolis, almost nothing is reminiscent of the nomadic lifestyle.4-wheel-Jeeps, smartphones, pizza and karaoke is the blood in the veins of the city, just like in the West. It doesn't take to long to realize: The globalisation did even capture the grasslands. Now the people want to leave there yurts to look for a comfortable and better life in the grassless suburbs of Ulaanbator.
Today about half of the mongolian population has already moved to the capital.
We escape to the stepp...
Now we are where sky and earth almost touch, where white yurts are the only spots in the endless green of the grassland. Stunning, peacefull and so clear as the nomadic lifestyle itself. A picture, very easy to describe but a long-lasting memory.
We visit yurts, meet families who herd their animals day after day. We see the nomads.
We meet Mendee, a shaman, and accompany him to the mother mountain „Eej Khairkhan“. Where the Gobi dessert and the Altai mountains meet.
But everywhere we get, we find the jung generation dreaming about a life in Ulaanbator...
It kind of hurts to write this, but the once whom travel with their eyes wide open, have to realise a drastic change in mongolia.
The nature is sold, churned and robed. People forget the wisdom of their ancestors. Change in a western speed but not in the speed of the nomads.
We are all part of this change. Mongolia is just a mirrow of our „progress“.
But if the real nomads still excist, they can be happy.
We don't want to search them, because tourism is often also a fact which can destabilize a culture.