Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Baabar (real name B.Batbayar), influential writer, former politician and one of the Democractic movement OG's, will give a talk at Cafe Amsterdam Wednesday April 1st at 7pm. Should definitely be an interesting night. He left politics sometime back and currently writes a weekly column on current affairs, which is published online as well as in local papers. He is also the founder of Nepko publishing company, which recently released the Collins English Mongolian dictionary. For more info and details on how to get to Cafe Amsterdam, visit their website.
Saturday, March 28, 2009
The amount of garbage in Ulaanbaatar city forthe year 2006 is estimated as 151 thousand tons and 60 thousand tons of garbage is illegally dumped without being collected. If the current situation continues till 2020, as much as 1.14 million tons will be discarded and Ulaanbaatar City will be buried in garbage. [from Embassy of Japan report. PDF available here]
Suuder.com has a series of photos taken at Ulaan chuluut rubbish dumping ground at Tolgoit. A separate reality altogether for most folks living in the middle of UB, whose waste end up at these hills where the less fortunate rummage through looking for recyclable refuse to sell: bottles, iron, copper wires etc. Much like ninja miners, these people live in terrible conditions at the rubbish dumping ground. Ulaan chuluut is only one of nearly 100 dumping grounds near UB.
A new USD10 million disposal site funded by aid from the government of Japan opened last year, located 2km from Ulaan Chuluut. According to ardchilal.com, the new site at Narangiin Enger meets the modern environmental regulations and recommendations.
Visit suuder.com to view the album.
Friday, March 27, 2009
So I was watching my daily 5 minutes of morning television when this video clip came on. As I was about to switch channels, thinking it was one of those lovey-dovey Korean-movie like video clips, it all turned way too violent for a weekday morning. A not-so-subtle nod to the July riots and the 5 who died in gunfire. Wait till the last few seconds of the video clip, including the Gladiator-like floating ending. The song is called "Чи наддаа ганц" or "You are the one for me" or something to that effect by Batsukh.
Friday, March 20, 2009
Mongolia-Web.com has an interesting article by Dr. Edward Dutton in their opinion section titled "Are the Finns the Mongolians of Europe?". Snippets below:
Until very recently, Finns were encouraged to see themselves either as ‘eastern’ or at least ‘between east and west.’ It was in the 1790, when Sweden ruled Finland, that German anthropologist J. F. Blumenbach compared Finnish, Sami (the Arctic reindeer herders) and Mongolian skulls and concluded that the Finns were ‘mongoloid’ and not ‘white’ like the Swedes or Finland’s Swedish-speaking aristocracy...In Finland, this is an increasingly controversial and much disputed theory in the academia, as the current view is shifting towards a Western origin for the Finns. The article also mentions that "there is even an Estonian anthropologist who argues that the Migration occurred from West to East, making the Mongolians descendants of the Finns." Interesting to some, ridiculous to some, I'm sure.
Finland-Swede linguist M. A. Castren added to this in 1840s when he investigated the Finnish language and tried to understand which languages were related to the seemingly isolated tongue. He found that Sami, Estonian and Hungarian were from the same family but so were a series of languages across Siberia such as Komi and Mari. And even languages like Mongolian and Greenlandic seemed to have a similar grammatical structure. This led to the ‘Migration Theory,’ arguing the Finns arrived in Europe from Mongolia around three thousand years ago and finally got to Finland 2000 years ago. The more recent discovery of genetics has added further evidence to the ‘Mongol’ claim. Geneticist Richard Kittles found in 1998 that Finns have ‘Dual Origins’ between Germanic and Mongoloid as measured by their ‘Y Chromosome Haplotype Variation.’
Read the full article
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
His appearance in the show, however, stirred fresh controversy over his behavior. The highest-ranking wrestler, Asashoryu skipped training for the day in the runup to the Spring Grand Sumo Tournament starting next Sunday, prompting some sports newspapers to blast him in their Monday editions.The first Mongolian to reach the highest rank of yokozuna in the Sumo federation, he quickly established himself as the badboy of Sumo. While looking online for related news, I came across this gem. Annoyed by a Korean reporter's insistent glorification of kimchi, he called him a "Kimchi bastard". That's just too good. If you ask me, the reporter asked for it, with his claims of kimchi preventing SARS.
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
I've been trying to find a breakdown of the 1.5 trillion ₮ stimulus plan. So far nothing very detailed. What the International Herald Tribune article here has is about as much detail I've been able to find in Mongolian. To raise the 1.5 trillion Tugriks for the stimulus plan, the boys upstairs might turn to China for the USD 3 billion loan earlier discussed. Business Times, Malaysia also has an article titled "Even Mongolia has to unveil stimulus plan". The editors at Business Times, Malaysia sound surprised to learn that Mongolia has an economy. Even Mongolia? Or perhaps they meant it in a good way, like even the strong and sturdy economy of Mongolia now requires a stimulus plan. But I doubt it.
According to open-government.mn, the government is also requesting a loan of USD 300 million from World Bank to cover the budget deficit, and are negotiating over the terms. The World Bank loan will most likely be used to save the construction industry, which is on the brink of a collapse after the banks stopped giving out housing loans.
So this song is no.1 on Hi-Fi Records' list of top 50 songs from 2008. The song is called "Picnic", and it's from Cuthberth's debut album "Introduction to Nomads". My colleagues explained that Cuthberth is actually Ankhaa (fullname Ankhbaatar aka Skitzo) from Lumino, who are one of the big-names in Mongolian hip-hoppery and clay pottery. Well, not clay pottery, but it rhymes. In any case, "Introduction to Nomads" is a good ambient / chill-out album with bits of the traditional thrown in. I heard this album being played at the City Nomads chain of restaurants on a few occasions. Guess they must've sponsored the album.
Anyways, loved this song. It is also probably the first time anyone's used the words "instant noodles" (belen goimon or бэлэн гоймон) in a Mongolian song.
Picnic - Cuthberth
Monday, March 2, 2009
For more of parliamentary Tsagaan Sar's fashion statements, check out news.mn photo gallery.