Amai The Mongol ( English ) thanks to Byambaa for english translation.
A UPO crossed Morocco
(Unidentified Pedestrian Object)
17 dec 2008 Morocco. Casablanca. MADE IN CITY magazine
“Amai the Mongol” has left his country and its capital Ulanbaaatar on 3 November 2005, at age 25, to visit 150 countries and their capitals. He thought he would cross the world in just 2 years, but during his journey, he soon realizes that his project would take much longer. Thus, after 3 years of travel he crossed 50 countries – a third of the way – and if all goes well, in 6 years he will be back in Mongolia.
By Isabelle Sivadier & Said Lahlou.
This experience, he conceived it as a Badarchin mission, his destiny.
“Badarchins were in the ancient nomadic Mongolian culture, messengers, ambassadors, reporters from the old days.”
It was common for young people educated, once reached the age of maturity, to decide to undertake a long journey to spread knowledge and Mongolian culture. By the time Mongolia is experiencing a strong identity-cultural crisis, following the fall of communism and bulimia of Western culture, living again this founding passed through this tradition is for me an obvious need.”
Ambassador Rock’n Roll!
Mongolia could not have dreamed of ambassador more rock’n roll! I Indeed, Amai is an avant-garde artist (musician), in his country: from the intellectual elite (father Professor of History at the University), he grew up in communism in Russia until 12 years old, then in Mongolia from 92. Frantically, he tries everything, gets interested in everything, until the time he felt ready to go around the world, this inner quest, this duty of Badarchin … “It was time to go to explore the world and put on my Badarchin my coat, find my roots, recognize them, put them into practice, talking about them to the world, and at the same time open myself on other cultures that Mongols and I know pretty bad“.
A road strewn of jewels and pitfalls!
On his way he was given to see some of the most beautiful places in the world, crossed the most different cultures …
Stories, he has hundreds to tell, some funny, some sad, some revolting, some fascinating, some touching ones …: “I got lost in the jungle in Africa, and I almost died of thirst under a harassing sun … Fell out of strength, offload of my food and backpack, without anything, lying on the ground, I felt ants beginning to devour me. I could not move anymore, I was dying … Until the rain falls … “ Or when he crossed the rebel zone and is taken under the protection by UN peacekeepers. Or when he had been hosted by Mongolian UN peacekeepers in mission in Sierra Leone, as he is a Bardarchin.
An epic arrival in Morocco (countries No. 49)
“I had to wait 2 months in Mauritania for finally having my visa refused. My trip is a string; I cannot skip countries. Arrived in Canaries Islands, after having heard my project, the consul immediately granted me the visa, understanding that I would speak about Morocco to my compatriots and that I would be a sort of bridge between the 2 countries.” Following these administrative adventures, his first opinion about Morocco was rather bad… “Arriving in Marrakech, my impression is gradually getting smoother … I was amazed by the central square Jemaâ AI Fna and its by-night frenetic activity … Then I went to what I consider as one of the best sociological observatories of a country: night club! What I thought? Moroccan girls are the most beautiful women of the 32 countries I have crossed in Africa.”
Then there was Hajja Halima!
Through a combination of circumstances and coincidence, he finds himself in an party with Hajja Halima in Casablanca … “As a musician and beyond the musical choc, I was both impressed and touched to see that families of a certain social elite are at the same time Europeanized (which is usually the case for elites of all countries) but also so respectful and proud of their traditional cultural heritage.” For Amai, it illustrates perfectly the difference he sees between nationalism (synonym of xenophobia and hate for other cultures) and patriotism, which means to be proud of what we are, while being curious and open to others.
End … and restart.
What is recurring with Amai, is that we feel in him a departure, a road, a path that does not end. As if he was in a hurry to leave again. The present is already passed with Amai … Future is the single traveler’s vocabulary. “If I take my time, I delay the time when I get back home.” His home, this Mongolia he misses so much, and which defines him. So he doesn’t get attached to people… he doesn’t have this right. He meets people; he shares moments, thanks those who hosted him or welcomed him and then goes again by himself … full of memories shared.