I would describe the Mongolian people that I met as quite spiritual, with a close connection to nature, animals and the land. In this way I believe they are similar to the Native American tribes of the USA. I started to realize that all indigenous civilizations probably held similar beliefs.
I learned that horses are a national treasure and highly respected, some Mongolians are against mining (despite Mongolia’s rich natural resources) and have a deep and unbreakable connection to the nomadic way of life.
As I understand there is no official religion Mongolia, as can be understood given the great Socialist influence on the country from the former Soviet Union. In fact,many of the nomadic tribes across Central Asia saw their culture and traditions suppressed and some say ” destroyed” during the Stalin era of the Soviet union. This includes the prohibition of speaking native languages and practicing any form of religion or spirituality.
I remember sometimes my hands would be numb from the cold in the morning- so numb that I had some difficulty tying the knot to tether the horses after tracking them down. Durukh showed me a “Mongolian” knot that he insisted I used when tying up the livestock. He was also very adamant about never letting go of the horses tether rope when in hand. I can see why as on 1 or 2 occasions we had to spend 2 hours or so tracking down lost horses!
Here is the knot:
You reaction may be “big deal” right? Well there is some significance to the knot.
I’ve created this site to document and share my experiences on my upcoming trip through a few countries in Asia (as well as any future forays).
My goal for this site is to share experiences, adventures, and whatever mishaps along the way that one may not typically get sitting in a tour bus or staying in a hotel on a commercial tour.
I’m getting a late start with wordpress (in more ways than one) so hopefully the blog/site will improve in aesthetics and content as we proceed.
The trip is only 2 months long. I’ll be trading work for accommodation in most places which I’m sure will help me experience the local lifestyle.I’m a little more than a week away from departure and my first stop will be Ulan Bator, Mongolia. I’ll elaborate on the “why and what” in a future post.
I’m in my last week of preparation and am packing minimally. My backpack arrives tomorrow. I guess I’ll be loading it up then.