2Q18 vs 2018: The Mongolian Parallel World of Shielded Nomads and Demandable Urbanites

I define Mongolian society of today by two different worlds. One is 2018, the other is 2Q18 as in the book called “1Q84” written by Haruki Murakami (The Japanese well known fiction writer).

The year of 2018 and its parallel world 2Q18 (“Q” stands for Question).

One of the Mongolian society 2018 being the realistic situation of nomadic lifestyle and the other world 2Q18 being the city dwellers expecting different lives and futures filled with technological advances by trying to live surrounded by a Machinic Perception. Machinic perception allows us to see ourselves from different and new perspectives which directly connects to the idea of how the Mongolian youth started to see themselves differently in a globalizing world despite the strongly rooted nomadic culture.

Tiny belly between a huge leg and a head

Mongolians used to carry the belief that the mining industry which is one of the powerful sources of Mongolian economy will improve their welfare but beneath the popularity of Mongolian mining industry there is a hidden fact underneath it in Mongolia called “Ninja Miners” which refers to illegal miners. “Ninja Miners” are mostly individuals or families who were mostly once traditional herders however after two harsh winters in the early 2000s resulted in a massive loss in livestock.

Photograph by Andrew Rowat

After this thousands of Mongolians turned to illegal mining on properties abandoned by larger mining companies.

The ninja miners appeared as of an error in a giant system. However, as the year goes by, the government itself is appearing as if it is the error itself. A country like Mongolia with such sources of land approximately the world’s 18th largest country by the land mass with roughly three million people and the mining sources of copper, gold and coal is facing such issues as inflation and stagnant wages that most Mongolians cannot afford.

If we imagine Mongolia as a human, its head is choking on luxury and its legs are spreading wider while the belly remains empty and hungry. The situation of public school and hospitals are at crisis, when the number of restaurants and cafes has exploded in recent years. Mongolia with such a tiny belly in between the poor and the wealthy is experiencing such unbalancing consequences.

I often wondered as one of the youth of Mongolia such responsibility to fix the issue, does it lay on the shoulders of my generation or else on no one’s since we live in a globalized world?

Globalization brings inequality to a country, and in most cases of different countries globalization builds a gap between the poor and the wealthy in terms of the economics. However, this is not the full case of Mongolia.

Not only economical gap plus mindsets

The widest gap not only lays in terms of economics but also in two different mindsets of Mongolian population who carries different expectations toward development.

People who live in rural area with nomadic lifestyle they consist sixty percent of the country in which some of the parts have no access to water or electricity, the basic needs. Even without the basic needs, they have no necessity or some of them have no access to participate in the Atmospheric Media (Atmospheric Media is about the ways that the technology surround us and interact with us, taking parts in our lives).

The Atmospheric Media itself is a luxury which seems something out of reach or else alien alike which puts them to define the development as having the basic needs and having no scarcity or a limit on financial abilities which assumed to become accessible to them if the nation itself is developing.

On the contrary, the people in urban areas define the development as surrounding themselves with much opportunities and to be in the center of information in the “Atmospheric Media”. Urbanities basic needs as water, electricity and shelter is provided which seems as if those basic needs were already there and always going to be there which gives them access to the Atmospheric Media, a luxury they can afford, the next level that they can easily slide into without such limits or boundaries of scarcity of basic needs.

Without such limits on their daily lives, the Atmospheric Media is accessible which connects them to the world and offers them vast of information and knowledge. With those knowledges that are being added every seconds, city dwellers define the development by measuring the number of Atmospheric Media that surround them and with such knowledges and opportunities.

The gap between those two different worlds leave the young generation with a choice to pursue one of the world because in those two worlds the nationalism is being compared with the cosmopolitan individualism.

The youth who are required to think globally but act locally.

The generation who stands between the borders, and asked to be both as a one but it appears as if the youth of Mongolia is not realizing the responsibility that lays on their shoulders blinded by such Atmospheric Media that surround them instead they are focusing on the new reality that they can shape and code by themselves.

For them, it is a reality that is exciting more than the idea of the nationalism because of the ability to build and create their own reality by using media and technologies.

To be continued…



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