Mongolia: A Young Boy on the Steppe

Back on the steppe. I was sure that Mongolia would be another country with not a single book I could get my hands on, but I was wrong. My library surprised me by having The Blue Sky by Galsan Tschinag on the shelves. The book is about the author, although it might be a bit confusing that his name in the book is Dshurukuwaa, the name he uses on the steppe.

Far away in northern Mongolia, young Dshurukuwaa lives his life in the family yurt in mid-20th century. Tradition is nowadays colliding with modern ways, but his family still manages to live quite the traditional life in remote Mongolia. Growing up always has its ups and downs, and losing people close to you is something no one can avoid, not even Dshurukuwaa.

He loses his older siblings to the modern world when they leave for school. His beloved grandmother passes on, and several animals leave one way or another. There is a whole chapter devoted to his grandmother and another one to his dog. The presence of extended family is vital, and animals have a big impact on family life.

I enjoy reading about traditions and different cultures. There is so much to take in, learn and understand. The strange thing about these books about the people around the steppe is that even though the true stories are touching and moving, something is missing. I guess it is a cultural thing, but no matter how sad or bad life gets the men who writes these books still make me feel like they are distant, and that their emotions are not fully in it all.

It is a good book to read and learn about life in rural northern Mongolia, the relations between humans, animals and nature, as well as learning about it all from a point of view of a young boy. It is not an earth-shattering book, but it will most likely give you a new point of view regarding a culture we rarely read about.


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