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Mongolian Herders Going Back to "Otor"

[ From Xinhua News, Translation by Enhebatu Togochog] While driving through Shilin Gol’s former grasslands now turned to desert, we saw tens of hundreds of herders with their livestock moving by motorcycles and jeeps loaded with their simple belongings. According to the local people, this is “ Otor” which means “ nomadic” in Mongolian, the Mongolian herder’s traditional lifestyle suited to avoiding and surviving disasters.

“Following along the path of modernization, herders in our banner have abandoned their traditional lifestyle for the past ten years ago, but today, after the three-year long severe drought, the grasslands where herders lived have completely turned to desert. Herders have to leave their settled dwellings to go on “Otor” with their simple properties,” a local said in Sunid Right Wing Banner of Shilin Gol where we visited.

“We changed 7 places, but we still could not find any grass,” Mr. Unenbilig, a local Mongolian herder on his “Otor”, told the reporter in the desert of Gerelt-Od Sume, Sunid Right Wing Banner. We saw that Mr. Unenbilig’s 5 years old son was watering ten or so emaciated goats with water from a small pot little by little. But it was not helpful, Mr. Unenbilig decided to leave the thin and bony goats in the desert to “grow or die without outsider’s interference”.

According to an official of the banner, there are some 700 other “Otor” families like Unenbilig’s moving from place to place in this banner.



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