School Papers

To who helps form a connection with the

To reach tribes in Mongolia, we have had to travel over the Eurasian Steppe. The Steppe spans thousands of kilometers, from Eastern Europe all the way to Manchuria. The tribes are located almost 500 meters above sea level and are surrounded by mountain ranges. This terrain made it difficult for us to reach them. Mongolia looks very different then Venice. The people have chosen to live surrounded by mountains and arid deserts, as opposed to settling in the grasslands, which appear to be much more habitable. Only nomads and other barbarians live in the grasslands because they constantly need to find grass and water. We were treated very well in Mongolia. We presented jewels to the Khan, who plays a similar role to a king, in exchange for other goods. I hope that this trade will help to set up a merchant partnership with the Khan. Aside from the Khan, the chief governs his own tribe. We witnessed a power struggle when the a new chief came to power. In one large tribe, it was not obvious who the next chief should be, and they broke up to form two smaller tribes. There is also a shaman who helps form a connection with the spiritual world. Although the shaman has many important roles, his primary jobs include treating the sick, warding off evil spells and reading the future. Many Mongolian people are nomads. We passed many ger tergen, where common people live. These are tents, called yurts, that are mobile, with chimneys in the center and the interior lined with felt. Bigger yurts are occupied by more wealthy people, while smaller ones are for the poor. I later learned that the moving yurts were inhabited by nomads, who will return to a stationary tent in the winter. Mongolian people pride themselves on their individuality and ancestors. To my surprise, the different tribes in Mongolia get along very well. The only conflict that arises is within a tribe. They do not let differences in their religion divide them. Many practice Shamanism, but some are Christians and Buddhists. The monastery in the Mongol capital of Caracoron helped me to understand that religion is very important to them. Even the wall surrounding it was beautiful.  Instead of valuing jewels, Mongols measure livestock to determine wealth. I hope further trade with the citizens allows for trade of animals. Because there is not much stone available, the stone they do have is used in Caracoron. In Caracoron, there is a large and ornate wall surrounding a monastery. It was interesting to see the complexity of the architecture in contrast to the simpler yurts I have been seeing. Today is our last day in Mongolia. Although the lifestyles of the Mongolian is very different from how we live in Venice, I have appreciated learning about it. We have been treated very well and have established relationships in trade that I expect will last.