I headed to Mongolia to see for myself one of oldest traditional nomadic lifestyles before it finally comes to an end. The effects of climate change and the invading mining companies are having an adverse affect. The Zud is a Mongolian phenomenon that consists of a long dry summer and a severely harsh winter. The Zud is becoming more of a regular occurrence and is unfortunately claiming the lives of many livestock making it incredibly hard for the nomadic people to survive. This is forcing many to abandon their traditional way of life and seek employment in the ever expanding mining industry and eventually make their way into the cites most commonly the capital Ulaanbataar.
Making the change from livingthe nomadic lifestyle to becoming urban dwellers does not bode well with the nomads and many turn to alcoholism. From here it goes down hill fast and these people who once lived the romantic nomadic lifestyle find themselves homeless on the streets of the ever expanding urban sprawl of Ulaanbataar.Capitalism is fast taking over this beautiful country with most of the profits heading out to Europe, USA and China. The country is soon to become the new Dubai not for it’s oil but for its coal and gold. Instead of trying to preserve Mongolia’s heritage the focus is on scaring the landscape with huge scale mining and building countless highways to transport all that they find out of the county and into China.
Unfortunately the nomadic way of life will be lucky so survive another generation. Most of the children who would normally inherit the livestock and carry the tradition on are already studying or working in the cities with no intention to return to there old way of life.