Mongolia: Wrestling with Change

DVD (Chaptered)
DVD + 3-Year Streaming
3-Year Streaming
Mongolia: Wrestling with Change (25:00)
Item# 41928

Close to the Russian border, far removed from Mongolia’s polluted and overcrowded capital city of Ulan Bator, an ancient herding culture fights to maintain its identity—and its survival. This program examines the nomadic communities of the Mongolian plains and their resistance to change, despite growing pressure on many herders to modernize and migrate to urban areas. Viewers meet some who hold fast to the old ways and some who have already moved to the city, even though they long for the open landscape and acknowledge that “a Mongolian without a horse is like a bird without wings.” Scholar Tsedev Dojoo further explores the impact of Mongolia’s new emphasis on commercial agriculture, mineral extraction, and other industries. A part of the series Fighting the Tide 3: Developing Nations and Globalization. (Portions in other languages with English subtitles, 25 minutes)

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Segments in this Video - (7)

1. Nomadic Herders (03:14)
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Mongolian herders are under pressure to conform and move to Ulaanbaatar, a city full of pollution. For nomadic herders, the horse is king and cattle is their lifeline.

2. Close Family Ties (03:03)

Three generations of Mongolian herders gather and play an ancient game called "horse racing". By Western standards Mongolian herders live isolated lives. The family lives close to the Russian border and tends 1,000 animals.

3. Urbanization Threat (02:14)

The Mongolian government wants to eliminate herding and turn the land into intensive agriculture projects. Nomads are under-valued and under threat of forced urbanization.

4. Winter Storms in the Steppes (04:46)

In the winter when the river freezes, herders dig holes in the ice to release water for their herds. Severe winter storms called "zuds" can have severe consequences. Herders who move to the city work menial jobs under strict conditions.

5. Importance of Nomadism (03:21)

In the new orthodoxy, urbanization is equated with progress. Nomadism is central to herder survival--as is the horse. Nomads find it easy to transport their tent homes (gers). Some carry solar panels with them.

6. Mining Companies Destroy Steppe Land (03:52)

Any attempt to push privatization offends the hearts and souls of the people of the steppe. Herders reject any plans to curtail their rights to roam. Mining companies are digging and destroying the land.

7. New Year's Celebration in Mongolia (03:36)

The New Year's festival is often called the White Moon festival. Families come together and senior relatives are honored. Specially colored clothes hold symbolic meaning. Happiness to Mongolians is tending their animals in the fresh air.

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