Showing posts with label Zaisan Tolgoi. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Zaisan Tolgoi. Show all posts

Saturday, February 13, 2021

Mongolia | Zaisan Tolgoi | Galleria | Soyolma

The Galleria of my Hovel in Zaisan Tolgoi. The center hanging is by artist Anunaran. (click on photos for enlargements)
Painting in my Galleria by artist Soyolma
Detail of painting in my Galleria by artist Soyolma
Painting of fierce female deity Narkhajid in my Galleria by artist Soyolma
Detail of painting of Narkhajid in my Galleria by artist Soyolma.
Detail of painting of Narkhajid in my Galleria by artist Soyolma.
Painting of Narkhajid in my Galleria by artist Soyolma.
Detail of painting of Narkhajid in my Galleria by artist Soyolma. In her left hand is a cup made from a human skull. The cup is filled with blood. This is one lady you do not want to mess with.
Tara-like painting by Soyolma, apparently a composite of White Tara and Green Tara. Like Green Tara she is bathykolpian, but is holding a lotus in her right hand like White Tara. White Tara also by tradition has a eye in the palm of her outstretched left hand. Here she is holding instead an enigmatic figure of a young woman. Also, White Tara is usually portrayed sitting in a full lotus position; Green Tara usually has one leg hanging down. The figure in this painting seems to be sitting in a rather loose half lotus position halfway between the postures of traditional White and Green Taras. Thus she would seem to be indicative of both. 
Painting by Soyolma
Painting by Soyolma. As can be seen in the two paintings above, small figures dwelling in trees are a staple of Soyolma’s work. 
Detail of painting by Soyolma
Painting by Soyolma
Soyolma also does traditional thangkas. This is her White Tara, also in my Galleria.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Mongolia | Zaisan Tolgoi | Ninth Nine-Nine | Ерийн дулаан болно

The ninth and last of the Nine-Nines—nine periods of nine days each, each period marked by some description of winter weather—begins today, March 3. This last Nine is Ерийн дулаан болно: the time when warm weather starts, signaling the end of winter. The Eighth Nine-Nine, you will recall, was the Time When Puddles Appear. Indeed, several afternoons last week I did notice puddles along the road from my hovel to Zaisan Tolgoi. Yesterday the temperature got up to 28º F. in the afternoon, and today is calling for the same. In fact yesterday afternoon my finely attuned olfactory organs detect a whiff of spring in the air, so we can start looking forward to the next big event in Zaisan Tolgoi, the Appearance of the First Wild Flower.

The Spring Equinox, signaling the arrive of Spring, does not course of course occur until March 20, but with the beginning of the last of the nine Nine-Nines winter, my favorite time of the year in Zaisan Tolgoi, is except for the shouting pretty much over.  So I am out of here!!!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Mongolia | Zaisan | Gaga Invasion

Yesterday was Children’s Day in Mongolia. I went downtown to get my mail (the kind lady at my branch post office now sends me a text message when I get mail) and noticed block parties for children, complete with balloons and loud music, everywhere. Then I returned to Zaisan. It turns out the apartment complex next to my hovel was having a big party in its courtyard, complete with hundreds, maybe thousands, of balloons (what’s with the balloon thing?), clowns in uniform, and a sound system that boomed music loud enough to be heard a half mile away. The music was—you know it’s coming—Lady Gaga’s latest album “Born This Way”.

It was on endless loop and played for at least three hours. Perhaps nine out of ten people listening do not understand English and thus do not know what she is singing about, but who cares? It is just a wall of sound. Now I am as big a Lady Gaga Fan as the next guy, but this was just too much. I tried to settle down with the book I had just received in the mail, A Story Waiting to Pierce You: Mongolia, Tibet and the Destiny of the Western World, but it was a bit hard to concentrate with Lady Gaga music playing loud enough to rattle the windows of my hovel. 
Lady Gaga has invaded Zaisan. There is no escape. Now we are all just vassals in Lady Gaga’s world. 
 Zaisan goes Gaga

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Mongolia | Zaisan | Full Moon | Lunar Eclipse

Unless you have spent the last couple of months indulging in some totally heedless Bacchanalia in a basement bar in Greenwich Village you no doubt know that there is a Total Lunar Eclipse scheduled for December 21, 2010. In the Western Hemisphere the eclipse will fall on the same day as the Winter Solstice; here in Mongolia it will occur the day before. 
Phases of the Eclipse, with Total in the Middle. For a more detailed view see Lunar Eclipse Phases
Some of the best views of the Lunar Eclipse will be from the east coast of the United States. In Mongolia the situation is complicated to say the least. Here is the schedule (all local Ulaanbaatar times): 

Penumbral begins:  1:29 pm
Partial eclipse begins:  2:33 pm
Total eclipse begins:  3:41 pm
Full Moon at 4:13
Greatest eclipse:  4:17 pm
Total Eclipse ends: 4:53 pm

Moon Rises at 4:57
Sun Sets at 5:01

Partial eclipse ends: 6:01 pm
Penumbral ends: 7:05  pm

As can be seen from this the eclipse begins and the period of total eclipse ends before the moon rises and the sun sets. Thus it will rise during the partial eclipse phase when the sun is still up.  Exactly how the moon will appear when it first rises and then after the sun sets, when it is still in the partial eclipse phase, is unclear. I will be at the summit of Zaisan Tolgoi from 4:00 pm onward on the 21st to find out, however. 

Now there is an additional complication: the forecast for the 21st is snow, with a high temperature of 3º F and a low of minus 27º F. If the skies are clouded over it might not be possible to see the moon at all, regardless of the eclipse phase. 

Eclipses, both solar and lunar, are big events in Mongolia. See the Solar Eclipse of 1997.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Mongolia | Zaisan Tolgoi | Autumn Equinox | Harvest Moon

The Autumn Equinox Lady
You are all probably busy making your plans for the celebration of the Autumn Equinox, which occurs here in Mongolia on Thursday, the 23rd, at 11:09 AM. Here on the 23rd the sun comes up at 6:40 in the morning and sets at 6:49, making a day of twelve hours and nine minutes. Lately I have going each morning to the summit of Zaisan Tolgoi, near my hovel, to observe the sunrise and will undoubtedly be there on Thursday morning. I usually leave my hovel at 5:30, while most of you sluggards are still on bed, and arrive at the summit at about 6:00. Oddly enough, I am not alone at this hour. Three other people, two Mongolian men and a Mongolian woman, all looking to be in their sixties, also come to the summit each morning. The woman circumambulates the summit several times, stopping at each of the cardinal points to make prostrations. The men appear to be engaged in various and sundry meditations. 
The summit of Zaisan Tolgoi

Although I  intend to celebrate the Autumn Equinox I will not be engaging in any heedless bacchanals, unlike some people I could name, but will instead engage in Orisons more in tune with the sobering times in which we live. As I always do on these occasions, I am once again imploring people not to engage in any animal or Human Sacrifices. If you live in New York City I want to emphasis that Union Square is not a suitable venue for sacrifices of any kind, animal or human (if you are in Union Square, however, you might want to wander by the Strand Bookstore).

This year’s Autumn Equinox is especially auspicious because it occurs on the same day as the Harvest Moon. If you are still celebrating the Equinox on the evening of the 23th, as I suspect you will be, I suggest that before you stumble into your drinking dens for a night of senseless dissipation you glance up into the sky and watch the totally inspiring sight of the Harvest Moon sliding between Jupiter and the Great Square of Pegasus 

Monday, April 12, 2010

Mongolia | Ulaanbaatar | Ugliest City on Earth?!?

Wandering by the website of the London-based Newspaper the Telegraph I was startled to see a photo taken just a couple hundred yards from my own hovel in Zaisan Tolgoi.
View of Downtown UB from near my hovel in Zaisan Tolgoi
I was even more flabbergasted to read this:
If there was a competition to find the ugliest city on Earth, then the Mongolian capital of Ulan Bator [sic] would be the leading contender for the title. The combination of grim, Soviet-style concrete high-rises, rambling slum-shanties and towering coal-fired power plants belching out smoke over the city reeks of the depression and decay that was a legacy of decades of communist rule.
Ulaan Baatar the “ugliest city on Earth”? I guess beauty is in the eye of the beholder. As I have stated in the past, I consider Ulaanbaatar to be on par with Istanbul and the Pyramids of Egypt as one of the world’s most alluring places. And by the way, isn’t it about time newspapers update their style books to reflect the correct English transliteration of the city’s name, which is Ulaan Baatar or Ulaanbaatar, and not “Ulan Bator,” a holdover from the Soviet era?