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
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.