Spring is the time for nomads to welcome new-born baby animals.
In the cold and changeable Mongolian spring weather, my friend has become afraid to let the baby animals stay outside overnight. Every afternoon she brings the most vulnerable babies inside her ger. This is the most critical time specially from March to mid-May for the herder baby animals to survive. Both animals and herders are tired this time of year. We also have an expression that compare weak person “weak like a spring animal”.
The spring breeze was blowing, and snow was melting everywhere. If the melt water can be absorbed into the soil, it will help the grass grow. Some herders who do not have a river in the area can go to wells to water their livestock. For now, they have little to worry about in terms of well water, as there is plenty of snow water.
Mongolia is a vast country where nomadic herders are scattered through steppes and mountains, grazing their animals. This year it was a good time for herder parents because of COVID-19 pandemic lockdown, the school kids stay home and help their parents at the same they attend online class. Classes were broadcast on the national TV channels which most herders have satellite DDISH antenna to watch TV. Later, the classes were also made available online. But it was harder for some kids to keep up than others. Among those most lacking access were children from low-income herder families whose parents were working and could not oversee their schooling. Many herder children attend remote boarding schools.
Nomadic herders tend herds of sheep, goat, camels, yaks and horses just as their ancestors have for more than 3,000 years. The herders understand the land and its environment from traditional ecological knowledge passed down through generations and from daily experiences, they recognize when the climate changes. Unpredictable weather patterns have disrupted the herder’s traditional knowledge of when to move their animals to new pastures, where the best pastures may be, and when to shear their sheep and goats. Herders say summer pasture grasses no longer grow. If they move the herds to mountain pastures before winter snows begin, water will be too scarce for the animals. If the herders shear the animals and a snow or hailstorm occurs, animals will die hypothermia. There are so many things that we will learn from herders in real life.
Like spring is the new reminder of how beautiful change can be. Hearing new-born animals voice, bird chirp, river ice melts are beautiful and meditational sounds that you can experience in Mongolia. Many travellers don’t know much about Mongolian spring in the countryside, because they come in the summer. The Spring time in Mongolia is very attractive, in that, you will see a lot of different things that you haven’t seen before. It is also the busiest time for nomads.