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Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The environment

The nomads have always lived in harmony with their surroundings. Whenever they moved the ger and their cattle to a different place, the custom was to leave the land as they'd found it, the only reminder of the months spent there was just the circular dry patch of land that was hidden under the ger and nothing else. They would protect water sources, since water can sometimes be scarce. They would take from nature only what was necessary. They would praise the land and mountains in songs and imitate the sounds of nature.

View a video about music and culture here
Today, the aggressive mining activity with mining companies drilling indiscriminately all over the place, poaching and illegal wood cutting are damaging the environment beyond repair. It makes me think, in a few years, when Mongolia becomes a country ravaged by desertification (most of the territory is menaced by it), with rivers polluted by toxic waste and wildlife in distress, what will happen to the nomadic culture? What will happen to music that was inspired by pristine nature and immense spaces where fences were non-existent?

Araatan by Altan Urag The phrase in the end reads: "Isn't man the most cruel of all animals?"
Visit the WWF Mongolia website

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