Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Nomads of Mongolia | Brandon Li

With the temperature in New York City in the teens today, I thought I'd feature a documentary about the Nomads of Mongolia by Brandon Li, a talented peripatetic movie maker.

The Mongolian pastoral herders are one of the world's last remaining nomadic cultures. For over 3000 years, they have lived on the steppes, grazing their livestock on its grasslands, and move in the search of better pastures and campsites. They live by and for their livestock, including their horses.

About half of Mongolia’s population is still roaming the vast plains living in the traditional ger, and moving their campings several times a year. Nomadic life may seem to us to be extraordinarily hard, but Mongolians have developed, over the centuries, strength and resilience that are essential for survival in this harsh nature.

However, modernity, bringing a new economic system, opportunities in mining, and the effects of overgrazing and climate change are pushing this ancient nomadic culture to adopt a more urban, settled lifestyle. Many Mongolian herders believe their traditional way of life is over, and some have already broken the ancient tradition of passing down the family herd to the youngest child.