Kazakh Style

One of my good friends and a fellow Fulbrighter in Mongolia is just about to wrap up her 10 months. Johannah Herr is an artist and designer from Brooklyn, NY. Through her research and art, Herr focused on Kazakh design and adapting it to large-scale murals and portraits. Her work brought her to stay with the Kazakh community in the far western province of Bayan Olgy three times.

The capstone of her Fulbright was a show at Ulaanbaatar’s Red Ger Gallery entitled “Homeland(s)” at the beginning of November. Sadly, I was unable to attend, but I thought this would be a great excuse to share some of her work with you.

You can follow Herr’s blog here.

 

Happy Naadam: Wrestling

Arguably the most manly of the three so-called ‘manly sports’ of Naadam has to be wrestling. Wrestlers tend to be enormous. They’re more muscular that Sumo wrestlers, but certainly much bigger than the likes of A.C. Slater. The bottom line is, I do not want to be on the wrong side of an argument with one of these guys.

Like horse racing and archery, hand-to-hand combat was an essential martial art back in the days of Chinggis (Ghengis) Khan. Mongolian wrestling is steeped in tradition.

Costume

The wrestler’s costume is one of the more eye-catching aspects of the sport. Rather than the Western singlet, wrestlers don Speedo-like bottoms, an open jacket, and leather boots. The fabric and boots are adorned with traditional patterns. The clothing has white stitching and tends to be blue or red, but I’ve also seen bright pink, turquoise and orange. For me the most interesting part of the uniform is the jacket, called a Jodag.

Once upon a time, the legend goes, wrestlers wore closed jackets. Then one day, after beating several contestants and winning a competition, a wrestler tore open her jackets exposing her breasts. Since that time, the official wrestling uniform has required a bare-chested jacket, in order to prevent a repeat performance.

Arm Flapping

Before each wrestler competes, he approaches the referee (each wrestler is assigned their own referee). He offers his hat and then approaches the eastern side with his arms outstretched like wings. He is mimicking a mythical bird called the ‘Khan Garuda’. Then, he slaps this thighs three times representing the three Naadam games. After the match, the winner’s referee places a special hat on his head and he does the dance again, flapping his arms while rotating in a circle.

Rules of Engagement

Mongolian-style wrestling differs significantly from its Western counterpart. The object is to force your opponent to touch the ground with anything other than his feet. Once you have accomplished this task, the game is over. However, there is no time limit, and so until someone touches the ground, the match will continue. Additionally, it is fair game to grab and tug on each others’ clothing (what little there is of it). That is strictly off-limits in the American-style.

Watch a Video About Mongolian Wrestling:

Read and Watch More about the Naadam events of Horse Racing and Archery.

These videos were produced in partnership with the Vanishing Cultures Project.

Happy Naadam: Horse Racing

One of my favorite parts of the Naadam celebration in Uugtaal last week was the way the small jockeys (aged between 5 and 12 years old) would sing to their horses before each race.

This particular Naadam had 6 races. Each race varied in length depending on the age of the horse. The shortest distance was about 6 miles, while the longest was 14. And so several times over the course of the two-day long event, a group of between 15 and 40 children would ride their horses into the main stadium singing the ‘Glingoo’. It’s a free-form kind of song that is meant to encourage the horses to run quickly.

After riding around the inside edge of the arena, the riders would gather at the front where they would drink airag (fermented mare’s milk) and pour some on their horses’ heads and hind quarters. Singing once again, they would exit the stadium and trot toward the starting line.

Horses are an essential part of Mongolian culture and the traditional lifestyle. They are veneered and used for everything from transportation to nourishment. But until I saw how the children interact with horses, I didn’t quite understand just how much a part of life they are. Dozens of young boys casually rode their horses around the grounds, showed off by doing tricks, squirted water guns at their friends and even shared ice cream cones. It was clear that if you were an 11 year old boy without a horse, you were just not cool.

Watch a video about the horse race:

Read and Watch More about the Naadam events of Wrestling and Archery.

These videos were produced in partnership with the Vanishing Cultures Project.

Happy Naadam: Archery and Shagai

Saihan Naadaarai! Happy Naadam!

Today (July 11) is the first of the annual three-day long celebration of Naadam. It is a sporting and cultural event that dates back to the 13th Century, a time when the three ‘manly sports’ of horse racing, wrestling, and archery were vital to Mongolia’s global dominance.

Although the national Naadam celebrations started today, county-wide and province-wide competitions and festivals have been occurring around the country since the beginning of July.

Having already attended the Naadam celebrations in Ulaanbaatar back in 2007, I was curious to see how it was celebrated on a more intimate scale.

Last week, I traveled to Uutgaal, a small county seat just 150 km from Ulaanbaatar, with fellow documentarians Nina and Taylor of the Vanishing Cultures Project and Mark of Open Road Movies. We spent two days watching horse races, wrestling matches, archery and the newly added game of Shagai (ankle bones). As the only foreigners and journalists at this Naadam, we were granted excellent access to the roughly 400 participants, organizers, and spectators.

Here are the first two in a series of four videos highlighting each of the four main events.

Read and Watch More about the Naadam events of Horse Racing and Wrestling.

These videos were produced in partnership with the Vanishing Cultures Project.

A Mongolian Hair Cutting Ceremony

I was recently invited to a hair cutting ceremony by a family in Ulaanbaatar that has taken me under their wing. The boy, Orgil was three-years old, and had nearly shoulder length hair for as long as I’d known him. Over the course of a 3 hour ceremony, friends and family members cut off locks of Orgil’s hair until it was too short to cut.

Traditionally, Mongolian parents let their child’s hair grow until they are between 3 and 6 years old. When the child has reached an appropriate age (usually 3 or 5 for boys and 4 or 6 for girls), they mark the first haircut with a ceremony. It’s a sign that the child has survived the dangers of the first few years of life.

While this tradition is a time-honored, it has experienced a resurgence in the past few decades. It’s one of many Mongolian traditions and symbols that increased in popularity since 1991 when democracy was ushered in. Some ceremonies are quiet affairs, only family members and the family’s closest friends are invited. But more frequently, they are elaborate affairs. Think Bar/Bat Mitzvah or Quinceañera celebrations. Wealthier families will invite as many as a hundred guests, serving a full meal, and providing entertainment.

But regardless of the size, the ceremony is generally the same. A monk or family member will give a blessing, for the child. Then the parents will cut the first lock, collecting the hair in a khadag (traditional sacred blue cloth). They will then bring the child around to all of the guests – closest family and friends are first. Everyone will greet the child saying, ‘Tom xun bolooroi!’ or ‘Sain xun bolooroi!’ (Translation: Become a big/good person). Then they will give the child a gift, usually cash ($5 – $20), but sometimes a toy. As is the case with most ceremonies centered around young children, this is mostly for the benefit of parents and family members and serves as a good excuse to celebrate.

I have only been to one hair cutting ceremony, and so it’s difficult for me to know what is typical, but I suspect this was not. The family held the ceremony in a banquet room of the hotel they own. They served the guests a three course meal and had ample vodka, beer and juice available. An emcee guided us through the entire evening, and we were entertained by a morin khuur (horse-head fiddle) player, traditional throat singers, and even a Mongolian pop star who’s zenith was in the 1980s. It was pretty amazing.

Here’s an example of another kind of hair cutting ceremony:

PHOTOS:

The plate of fried cookies topped with candies and curds, called a ‘heviin boow’, is a common centerpiece at most formal celebrations.

Orgil, the guest of honor

A decorated roasted pig was among the special foods at the hair cutting ceremony

Orgil runs around with his cousins, a key part of any family celebration

Next to money, toy trucks were the most common gifts Orgil received

Orgil with his mom before the ceremony

Live From UB: Gee

Munkherdene, more commonly known by his stage name, ‘Gee’, is one of Mongolia’s more notorious rappers. His aggressive, vulgar lyrics and commanding presence have helped him make a name for himself. He’s known for rapping about corruption in the government, environmental degradation, the Ger District (where he grew up), and, most notably, his anti-Chinese stance. He’s been featured in articles about a changing Mongolia and is one of three central characters in the new documentary, ‘Mongolian Bling’. Love him or hate him, Gee is one of Mongolia’s most (in)famous rappers.

I first met the 28 year-old last November, when I was still getting acquainted with UB’s music scene. I had heard about Gee from Benj Binks, director of ‘Mongolian Bling’, and a few expats who warned me of the violent side Mongolia’s hip-hop scene. But I had yet to hear a track or see a picture when he caught me eye at a concert for pop singer Naran’s CD release.

 

Gee is a large man. He’s well over 6 feet tall and has the bulk 20120513_Gee_Edit-62to make one second guess engaging him in an argument. He wears baggy pants and oversized sweatshirts with screen-printed Mongolian symbols. There is an ever-present heavy chain around his neck, which holds the large talisman his shaman gave him. His head is shaved down to the skin. Tattoos adorn his hands, arms and even cheek. The tattoos on his right arm pay homage to some of his musical heroes (the Wu-Tang Clan and Tupac), while the tattoos on his hands show his Mongolian side. The proverb split between the two hands reads: ‘Aibal buu khii; Khiibal buu ai’ (translation: ‘If you are scared, don’t do it; If you did it, don’t be scared’).

He has the personality to back up such an imposing presence. There’s a boyish arrogance to him that comes of as cocky, yet he has a certain charisma that is sort of endearing. He walks with a swagger and is not shy to exploit his size. During an interview he told me he was the best Mongolian rapper with the most impressive crew, which includes UB’s best graffiti artist, best tattoo artist, and best beat makers. In fact, two members of his noteworthy crew sat silently sipping tea at a table nearby during our hour-long interview.

The second time I met Gee, he was performing for a televised music award ceremony. I sat with him, another rapper, and the members from folk rock band Jonon, during the 2 hour-long shoot. There were about ten acts (mostly pop bands who lip-synched to recordings of their recent hits) and two emcee’s who interviewed musicians in between acts. Throughout the show, Gee was almost happy to show his boredom by playing video games on his handheld device or loudly laughing at other performers. After Gee and Jonon played their song, Gee was given the top award (something like ‘Musician of the Year’), which he accepted with palatable disinterest.

This is not the way I would ever choose to act at a public event (especially a televised one). Yet, I couldn’t help but feel glad that I was sitting at Gee’s table. Despite his arrogance, or perhaps because of it, I found I was eager to be on his good side. It felt eerily similar to social interactions back in middle school – a period I spent seeking acceptance from people I didn’t actually like.

Gee started rapping in 1998, when he was just barely a teenager. He grew up in Ulaanbaatar’s sprawling Ger District (home to about 2/3 of the city’s population). As the son of a single mother in one of the city’s poorer neighborhoods, Gee says that he needed a way to express himself. He first started writing poetry. But, after acquiring a cassette tape of various rappers (Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, and The Sugarhill Gang), he thought he’d try and merge his poetry with beats.

Gee released his first album, ‘Bolovsrolgui Seheetnii Tavigdahgui Iltgel’ (rough translation: ‘An Uneducated Nobleman’s Unreleased Presentation’) in 2005, but it was his appearance in a 2004 song and video called ‘Hood’, by well-known hip-hop group Vanquish, that started turning heads. ‘Hood’ showcases four rappers (and their crews) who each introduce themselves and rap in turn about their neighborhoods in UB. At the time, Gee was the only person rapping about the Ger District, and his pride in his neighborhood and gangsta style made him stand out among Mongolia’s rappers.

When I asked Gee what he likes to rap about in an interview last November, he said that he wants to deliver a message to Mongolia’s youth by focusing on what the community is missing and the malfunction of the government. He says he’s not interested in rapping about “money, women or weed”, but instead says, “Mongol hip-hop should be wise and should tell the people what is right to do.”

But not all of Gee’s songs have a greater message. In our interview, he expressed frustration over the fact that Mongolia’s hip-hop fans mostly like songs about conflicts between rappers. He told me he’s not interested in using his music to fight for superiority with other Mongolian rappers because he’s already the best. Yet, one of Gee’s big hits (86,000 plus views on YouTube), ‘Mongol Rapper’, is 3 minutes and 57 seconds of Gee asserting his rapping superiority over another Mongolian rapper, Tsetse.

Gee is outspoken to say the least. He identifies as an individual performer, not part of a larger artistic community, and has a, ‘I do what I want’ mentality. While talking about coming from the Ger District, he said, ‘Everyone is the same, no more no less’. In another meeting, he asked me what part of the U.S. I was from. When I told him Minnesota he looked at me and said that he ‘hated that place’. He explained that during a layover in the Minneapolis – St. Paul airport he felt that people were treating him poorly because he’s Asian. I said that it might have had more to do with his tattoos and shaved head. Then he said, ‘I hate racism. I’m not racist toward anybody… except the Chinese. I hate the Chinese.’

Gee’s most controversial song is titled ‘Hujaa’, a racial slur referring to Chinese people. It appeared on his most recent album which was a collaborative effort with Jonon called ‘Mongolz’. In it, Gee raps about Mongolian superiority and its future dominance over China. If the lyrics weren’t shocking enough, the corresponding music video certainly will draw your attention. Gee stands in a meat freezer with sheep carcasses dangling from meat hooks all around. He wears a white apron splattered with blood and looks straight into the camera wielding an ax as he sings. It’s creepy, which I’m pretty sure is what he was going for.

The song, understandably, turns the foreigners living in Ulaanbaatar and their Mongolian friends off. It reflects and promotes a rising xenophobic nationalism that is having very real effects on some of UB’s foreign population. For years, Chinese and interracial couples have enjoyed a heightened risk of random assault, but now it seems that all foreigners are being targeted. Not a month has gone by since my arrival in UB when I haven’t heard of a foreigner – sometimes a friend – being randomly assaulted because he or she was not Mongolian.

20120513_Gee_Edit-62But for many Mongolians, ‘Hujaa’ resonates. The past decade has been a time of rapid change and development, which only seems to be increasing in speed. The Economist Intelligence Unit projects that Mongolia will have the second-fastest growing economy of 2012 after Libya. But there is still a question as to whether Mongolia’s development will be beneficial for the majority of the populace or only a select few at the top. The nationalists and many of Gee’s fans feel it is the latter and point to foreign involvement (particularly in the mining sector) as the cause. There’s a prominent belief that foreign interests, especially Chinese, are taking Mongolia’s mineral wealth, destroying the environment, and doing little to invest in Mongolia’s future. In addition to the current political-economy, history plays an important role. Many are quick to point to thousands of years of warfare with and occupation by the Chinese. But what might have left a more lasting impression was the aggressive Soviet-led anti-Chinese propaganda campaign of the 1960s and 1970s as the USSR used Mongolia as a buffer state. As is the case with nationalism and racism in any country, it is most likely a combination of all factors.

20120513_Gee_Edit-50This might all help explain why, at a recent club opening in Erdenet, the young crowd was calling for Gee to rap his most controversial song. Gee performed five songs that night, and ‘Hujaa’ was by far the most popular. It was also the only one people sang along to. After the show, a reporter I was traveling with asked a pair of 21 year-old fans why they like that song. They explained that it is about being proud of Mongolia, but mentioned nothing about the Chinese.

Although the anti-Chinese message is the overpowering one from ‘Mongolz’, Gee and Jonon have more to say about their pride in Mongolia. The song ‘Minii Nutgiig Nadad Uldee’ (rough translation: ‘Leave my Country to Me’) which features veteran Mongolian hip-hop artist Bayaraa, talks about environmental degradation and calls on the government to preserve the land.

When he’s not giving interviews to foreign reporters or traveling around Mongolia performing at club openings, Gee is looking toward his next project. He told me that he wants to focus more on gangsta rap, but not 100%.

‘I do whatever I want,’ he says.

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Video: Ulaanbaatar Time Lapse

I’ve been trying my hand at time lapse photography since I arrived in Mongolia. I took a big hiatus during the winter since I wasn’t very interested in standing still for 40 minutes in -30 degree C temperatures (nor was my camera, for that matter). But, since it’s been warming up, I have been trying to get back into it.

I have a hit list of sites around Ulaanbaatar that I want to capture including, but not limited to, the Chinggis face on the mountain south of town, more people walking around during the day in Sukhbaatar Square and near the State Department Store, the Lenin Statue, the Sukhbaatar Statue, traffic at night from various vantage points, the big Mongolian flag near the stadium, Gandan Monastery at various times of day, and the Circus at sunset.

If you have any suggestions, please feel free to share!

Here is a collection of the shots I’ve amassed so far:

What Herders Do Best

Last February, I spent a day with some herders just 2 hours outside of Ulaanbaatar. I was accompanying a friend of mine and her aunt as they went to buy two fresh sheep for the upcoming Tsagaan Sar celebration.

We arrived at the first family’s ger (home) around 10:00 am. They served us milk tea and some freshly made buuz. Then the husband and wife and their young son hopped in my friend’s small Toyota and we headed off to another herder family’s home about 10 km away. We were lucky to be on a paved road for about half of the way, but relied on the little hatchback to do her best as we off-roaded it over the snowy terrain to the second ger.

Amgalan's son runs to Amgalan and Batbayar as they examine a sheep

Upon arrival, we were again greeted and served milk tea, a standard sign of Mongolian hospitality. With the horses gone off to get water, we had to drive the Toyota through the snow to where the sheep were grazing – another several kilometers away.

I’ve never seen the herding process before, and I didn’t really know what to expect. Perhaps it might be different if the men were on horseback, but I was surprised at just how time intensive and exhausting it was to round up so many sheep. I was also surprised to see the method of catching the sheep: basically spotting the one you want, running into the herd, and tackling it. It’s quite entertaining to observe.

Over the course of the next hour, the two herders caught four or five sheep. They would compare their legs and tails to judge which one would be the best for eating at such a high holiday. They were very concerned with finding the two best sheep, which, to be honest, all looked the same to me.

After they chose the two winners, they tied them up, and lobbed them into the trunk of my friend’s hatchback, and we returned to the ger.

Watch a Video of the Herding Process:

The next 4 hours were spent killing, skinning, and cleaning the sheep – not for the faint of heart.

Batbayar skins one of the sheep

The traditional Mongolian method for killing sheep might be surprising. They cut the sheep’s belly lengthwise, stick their hand into the chest cavity and stop the heart by pinching the aorta. It takes no more than 5 minutes and the sheep don’t make a sound.

A woman sorts through the organs of a sheep as she cleans them

After, the two herders each skinned one sheep – ripping the skin from the fat and muscle. The pair made the skinning process look rather easy – using the fat to grease their hands and separating the skin from the muscle. The young boy climbed all over his father as he was exerting himself, but he didn’t seem to mind much. After about 15 minutes, the sheep were fully skinned. They would sell the pelts and feet later.

Once the sheep were skinned, the women took over. They spent the next several hours methodically cleaning the innards inside the ger. Each wife was in charge of one sheep’s o

rgans. First they cleaned the small and large intestines, squeezing out feces and running water through them until they were clear. Then they mixed blood with onion and garlic, which they poured into the intestines. This would later be cooked to make a tasty sausage-like treat.

After all the organs and intestines were properly cleaned, they stuffed them into the sheep’s stomach. They stretchy tissue served as an extremely efficient sack.

Coming from the United States, where the commercial slaughtering process is less than ideal, it was refreshing to observe how intimate the herders are with their livestock. Not part of the animal was wasted – nothing is taken for granted.

Batbayar tells me about his life as a herder in Central Mongolia

After all was said and done, I sat down with Batbayar, the older and more experienced of the two herders. He was extremely proud of his profession, saying that there was nothing difficult about it at all. ‘With the fresh air in the countryside, herding is a really nice lifestyle,’ he told me.

Batbayar comes from a long line of herders out west in Zavkhan Province. He moved to this region just outside of Ulaanbaatar with his family and 400 goats and sheep just 5 years ago.

Batbayar told me that his family was quite busy recently, selling and preparing sheep for out-of-town customers almost everyday ahead of Tsagaan Sar.

He said his daily life is simple: wake up, take the herds out to pasture, look after them as they graze, and bring them home in the evening. There are additional chores like tending to the cows and cleaning out the pens. But, for the most part it’s the same everyday. “We never change our work, we just have one job,” he explained.

MORE PHOTOS

Mongolian children often learn to ride horses when they are as young as 3 or 4 years old

The two herders spent over an hour picking, catching and scrutinizing the sheep

Zaya holds down a sheep while the herders search for a second one

Batbayar examines one of his sheep

Amgalan leaves the ger to slaughter the sheep

Amgalan kills a sheep the traditional Mongolian way - by pinching the aorta

Amgalan's son climbs on him as he skins a sheep

The herders will sell the ankle bones of the sheep for pieces in a popular game similar to jacks or dice.

After the sheep are skinned, the women clean the innards inside the ger

Woman clean sheep intestines together

Blood is mixed with onion and later boiled inside the intestine

Zaya pours blood mixed with onion into an intestine

Women sit near the door to their ger cleaning sheep innards

Once all of the intestines have been cleaned, they are stuffed into the stomach, which also operates as a sack

Three days later the cooked sheep was featured on a table along with other food for Tsagaan Sar

Protest in Ulaanbaatar After Former President’s Arrest

Early this morning former Mongolian President N.Enkhbayar was arrested at his home in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. The arrest was prompted yesterday when he released classified transcripts from official meetings that took place after the election riots of July 1st, 2008, when four civilians were shot and hundreds of people were injured. The bloody stain on Mongolia’s young democracy is known as the ‘July 1st Incident’.

Former President Enkhbayar being arrested

Current Mongolian President, Ts. Elbegdorj is one of many current government officials who are named in the transcripts.

According to the UB Post, Enkhbayar released a statement saying:

“I think the following documents will clarify what really happened. The 2008 Parliamentary Election was corrupt. The people have the right to know who is responsible. People lost their lives. I want to tell the truth about the incident. The discussion of the meeting of the National Security Council is classified information. This should be changed. Parliament and the National Security Council can change this. Because it is classified, the public is unable to receive correct information. I have met with the administrations of the party two times to discus this. I would like to turn over 300 pages of material.”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=kSfjOp8VP-E

This afternoon, Enkhbayar’s supporters gathered in Sukhbaatar Square in front of the government building. They waved flags and listened to party leaders speak, mandating Enkhbayar’s release. Many foreigners were weary to venture outside, but what I witnessed was a largely peaceful demonstration. There were a few extra police on hand, but not many more than are normally patrolling the square. There were Mongolians from all ages and walks of life present – some observing from afar, others yelling and waving their hands in the air. After gathering in the square, the group marched around the government house.

However, there are rumors that Enkhbayar’s supporters from around Mongolia will be traveling to Ulaanbaatar in the next couple of days. Protests may escalate and a curfew may be implemented, but as of now nothing is official.

The July 1st Incident

Mongolia’s last legislative elections were held on June 29, 2008. Out of the 76 Parliamentary seats up for grabs, 43 were alledgedly for the Mongolian People’s Revolution Party (the ruling party of Mongolia from 1920 – 1996, just after the Democratic Revolution, and also the party of former President Enkhbayar). The Democratic Party, led by current President Elbegdorj, came in second winning 25 of the Parliamentary seats.

On July 1st, the Democrats led by Elbegdorj declared that the election results were fraudulent. At the time, Elbegdorj was quoted saying, ‘If most people voted for us why did we lose? We lost because… corrupt people changed the results.’

That evening anti-MPRP protesters gathered in front of the party headquarters in downtown Ulaanbaatar and set the building on fire. You can still see the charred remnants of the Cultural Palace just to the north which also caught on fire. Police used tear gas and rubber bullets against the angry protesters. Protests continued well into the night, past the police mandated 10:00 pm curfew prompting then President Enkhbayar to declare a state of emergency for the next four days. The army sent tanks into the streets of Ulaanbaatar and the government issued a media blackout.

In the end five people, all civilians, lost their lives in the protests. Four were shot by police and one died of carbon monoxide inhalation.

Upcoming Elections

The first legislative elections since the July 1st Incident will be held this June. The election process is much shorter than the drawn out marathon we have in the United States, and so many of the candidates have just now started running in their home provinces.

Some Mongolians I have casually spoken to about the events in the past 24 hours have said it’s a media stunt by Enkhbayar. Others are not quite sure what to make of it.

But almost everyone I’ve spoken with since I arrived in Mongolia has casually mentioned government corruption. Some of the musicians I’ve met with will blatantly call the government out through their lyrics. Others have grown more complacent, quietly acknowledging that they don’t know how it could ever change.

More Reading

Mongolia Calls State of Emergency – BBC, 7/1/08

Mongolian President Issues State of Emergency After Protesters Storm Party?s Headquarters – Fox News, 7/1/08

The UN Warned to Urgently Solve the Case of July 1, 2008 – InfoMongolia

July 1st Incident – Wikipedia

A man watches a press conference held by the police hours after the arrest of former Pres. Enkhbayar

Protesters wave a flag

Kids look on as protesters deliver speeches

An old woman looks on as a protester adds his name to a banner

MORE PHOTOS

Photos: Beijing Graffiti

I have been steadily collecting photos of graffiti around Ulaanbaatar. Mostly I’ll just snap a shot on my iPhone while walking around. I have yet to devote some serious time to walking around the city and taking pictures, but it will happen soon.

While in Beijing, I decided to collect some images of Chinese graffiti. Here’s some of what I found.