Stories: Mongolia

  • To Fight Pollution, He’s Reinventing The Mongolian Tent

    It takes the taxi driver three tries to find the neighborhood and at least another three wrong turns on narrow unpaved roads before he locates the company's front gate. Each time he gets turned around the driver reaches for a cell phone. On the other end of the line Odgerel Gamsukh directs the driver to Gamsukh's garage door...

  • In a changing Mongolia, higher stakes for out-of-school herding boys

    In a few days Otgonmuren’s family will pack up their ger, their round felt tent home. It is late August, time for herders to relocate for the winter. Some of them will relocate, that is. His sisters will stay in town to attend boarding school. Mungunshur, 16, plans to be a doctor. Munkhzul, 8, also plans on college, though she...

  • Can helping men in Mongolia improve life for women?

    Over green tea at a Western-style cafe in the Mongolian capital of Ulaanbaatar in late summer, Temuulen rattles off reasons why Mongolian men need help: poor health, high unemployment and heavy drinking. As vice director of the nonprofit Men’s Association, Temuulen, who, like many Mongolians, uses only one name, has a lot to say about the status of...

  • The Strong Women Of Mongolia Are Ready To Take On The Patriarchy

    Gerelee Odonchimed was 23 the first time she said the word vagina. It was 2011 and she had recently joined a new women's rights group in the Mongolian capital of Ulaanbaatar. For their initial project, the group decided to stage The Vagina Monologues, a play where women speak about their vaginas. The topic isn't something Asian and Mongolian women...

  • Mongolia’s Hunt For Female Street Artists

    Odno Bold extends her hand in greeting, than pulls it away quickly. For a moment she has forgotten that her hands are covered in pink chalk and red paint, a hazard of the trade. Bold, who is 24, is outlining her first street mural on the wall surrounding the United Nations compound in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. Dressed in black leggings and boots,...

  • Fighting to Breathe in Mongolia

    It’s September, the morning after the first snowfall of the season, and Otgontuuya already knows that winter will be brutal. She sits on a pink plastic chair in her living room, takes off her thick jacket and breast-feeds her crying toddler. She has just gotten home, having walked across the uneven dirt roads overlooking the city, where the...

  • Hidden Treasures of a Remote Record Shop

    Batbold Bavuu began collecting records by accident 10 years ago, rescuing them from rubbish bins at the music college where he was a student. Those discs formed the basis of his collection and the inspiration for his new shop, Dund Gol Records. The business started off in the corner of a children's library, tucked away in a tiny area with...