Last updated at 14:00 BST, Tuesday, 03 May 2011

Calendar 2011: Me and my country now

The photo

a grandfather with a horse and some cows in a field in Mongolia

My grandfather's name is Namkhai Senden. He was born in Ömnödelger soum (county), Khentii aimag (province) in 1931, where he has lived all of his life. Ömnödelger is in the Mongolian countryside, about 300 km east of the nation's capital, Ulaanbaatar.

He is and has always been a livestock herder, raising sheep, goats, horses and cows. He was also informally trained and practiced as a veterinarian. He has many children and grandchildren. He lives with my grandmother, my aunt and her 6 year-old boy.

At 80 years old, he continues to herd animals in the countryside. His father was a great Buddhist lama who died during the socialist revolution in Mongolia. He continues to practise Buddhism and shamanism. He really loves spring when livestock animals give birth, plants start to grow again, and all life returns.

Ganganmurun Enkhbayar, Mongolia

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    • 1. At 3:45pm on 01 Apr 2011, baatoo wrote:

      I am also a Mongolian, but from Xinjiang,China.I thought of my grandparents who passed away years ago when I saw this picture.My grandparents also are herdsmen, benign old people. They together through the ups and downs.
      Hope your grandfather is well !! I like this picture and the aged's serene look.

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    • 2. At 6:55pm on 01 Apr 2011, Dani from Mongolia wrote:

      Hello, I am also from Mongolia. I was born in Ulaanbaatar. I really proud of your grandparents. Even I want to share my view about countryside people and their life through blogging. It is truly amazing that we, present Mongolians, have been inhereted our lifestyles from our ancestors as same as it has been for centuries.

      I wish all the good things in your life.

      Dani

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    • 3. At 11:22am on 02 Apr 2011, Ivy wrote:

      Hey,1st floor, this world is really small. My hometown is at XinJiang ,China,too. very glad to meet hometown people at BBC.

      I left my place 9 years before. and now just be in another country.
      although i am not herdsmen, this photo still makes me recall my dear hometown. the sky, the people, the animals, the food and culture all are such familiar.

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    • 4. At 1:08pm on 02 Apr 2011, Tereza wrote:

      It sounds so romantic for European! But I know that the life is probably very hard. Harder than life of Czech agriculturers...

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    • 5. At 7:36pm on 02 Apr 2011, Miona wrote:

      I also lived in Xinjiang, China. My grandpa was a good interpreter of Russian. When he was young, he lived in the northeast of China.
      Because of the social revolution, he came to Xinjiang with my grandpa and their four children. He was a vigorous person who loves ice-skating and reading.
      In his 70s, he began to learn roller skating and persist in practice everyday.
      All of our families felt very sorrowful when he died at his 77.

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    • 6. At 8:48pm on 02 Apr 2011, a01028a wrote:

      My grandfather was born in Spain, in 1912. He worked repairing shoes during most of his life. He was married to my grandmother during more than 60 years. He fighted in the Spanish Civil War from 1936 to 1939. He died in 2006

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    • 7. At 03:29am on 03 Apr 2011, marcos wrote:

      A possibility to go back in the time is blessing moment ,the you have the possibility to remember your father ,mother, your Youth age,first dog ,your children ,this is enjoy moments no body can take from you.

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    • 8. At 6:05pm on 03 Apr 2011, gold wrote:

      when I see the picture I used to think about a poor land , no light , no high building ... only natural wild but you always see a joy in local's eyes.They make everything with their hands ..build homes, product vegetables..feed up animals by glasses to get milks or meats.
      You can see in here, hourses and donkies perhap used as primary vehicle to move from one place to another place .
      So I love this picture, love surrounding scenery .. love satisfaction on men'face

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    • 9. At 08:50am on 04 Apr 2011, huonguyen wrote:

      I like your picture and story. I live in a town and always feel interested about life in countryside, no noise, no scramble, no hurried...

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    • 10. At 07:01am on 05 Apr 2011, Farida Arum wrote:

      Hello, Enkhbayar.... I love horse and I can ride it ;-)
      I really love your picture. I love pictures about human interests. And your story is so touching. I imagine about a happy life of your big family... Hope he lives longer and always brilliant in health.
      The countryside is a perfect place to escape from any hectic and crowd of a city.

      Cheers!!
      Farida (Surabaya - Indonesia)

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    • 11. At 4:51pm on 05 Apr 2011, Bemi wrote:

      what a wonderful photo! He just looks like my grandpa.I am from Mongolia.Right now,I 'm really miss my grandparents especially my grandpa.He was teacher in Tuv aimag.Also, he is really wise and kind

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    • 12. At 10:23am on 07 Apr 2011, batuka wrote:

      Hi,
      I am from Mongolia too. It is very nice to see the post from a Mongolian person.
      I grew up in the soum (small town, having 2000 people), Dornod aimag, the north-east side of Mongolia. Countryside is nice. Wild nature, fresh air, blue sky, cattles ...everything is natural.

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    • 13. At 06:36am on 08 Apr 2011, choyang1ho wrote:

      I had visited Mongolia 4 years ago and still never forgot good memory of beautiful nature I saw and friendly people I met.
      When I look at this picture, I miss the place I visited and people I met so much.

      [Edited by Moderator: I think you mean to use the word "picture" rather than "ficture".]

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    • 14. At 3:49pm on 13 Apr 2011, odgii wrote:

      Hello Enkhbayar. Nice to see your... [grandfather's] picture. This is the first time I've ever seen picture like this in this site, however I've been visiting for years. I'm also Mongolian, living in UB. Keep going man

      [Edited by Moderator: I think you mean grandfather (a man) rather than granny/grandmother (a woman).]

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    • 15. At 01:47am on 15 Apr 2011, Nadia wrote:

      I almost didn't meet my grandparents. They died when I was a child. Sometimes, when I see my friends' grandparents I feel really sad because I feel like I miss the chance of having very beautiful experiences.
      That picture is really beautiful and makes me feel nostalgic.

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    • 16. At 7:30pm on 25 Apr 2011, micabgcica wrote:

      Hello everybody,
      This is a very beautiful picture and I'm glade that it's published.
      Living in harmony with nature for me has always been very attractive
      I'm from Serbia and my grandfathers were farmers too.

      Big Kiss

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