Yesterday night we said goodbye to Luya over some hundred grams of vodka and the fine GEM draft. He’s going to Khentii for a UNDP meeting. We are wrapping up our stay here with Hubby talking about his democracy of Mongolia research at the Tsetsegoun Management College today. I am doing some shopping and having lunch at favourite Millie’s. Tomorrow the both of us are having lunch with the people from Mongolian University of Science and Technology, MUST. If we are lucky we’ll get to meet with Bagi and Dolgon before leaving, although sweet Misheel, 6, has caught some illness and is covered with red dots. According to her mother it's Chickenpox.
Hopefully it will stop snowing; otherwise our flight will probably be delayed again. UB is situated on a high plateau with mountains all around and the 65 days a year that the sun doesn’t shine it’s just horrid. (However, the Mongolians like it since the water is very welcome in this dry country.) Spring is late this year. Last time, in 2009, we arrived about this time of the year and the summer was already here. Next year we’ll make sure to arrive in late June, to be able to observe the Ikh Khural, parliament elections, and celebrate Nadaam (Mongolian midsummer). I also would like to go out in the countryside to try and spot some Prechevalsky horses at least. The 2009 presidential election should have been Hubby’s last but now the old monolithic Socialist party MPRP has surprisingly split in two parts, with former PM and President Enkbayar as leader of one part. We just have to be here to see what happens. I guess we’ll keep on coming since Mongolian politics is full of surprises and very interesting to follow.
Luckily Nadaam ends in time for us to get home to the Swedish city of Västervik where one-of-her-kind Eva is celebrating her 50’s birthday. I cannot really realize that. Yesterday Ganthugs asked Hubby how old he is. They have known each other for ten years now and met when Ganthugs, father-of-three and teaching at the MUST, was a young student.
- You are older than my mother! How is that possible!?
Was his remark on Hubby's considerable 55 years. It’s the same with Eva, she’ll always be 40 something in my eyes. Probably because it keeps me the same. ;)
Last night I asked Hubby if he remembered that first visit to Mongolia and who he travelled with. Bat-Erdene, never beating around the bush, quickly replied.
- They were six men coming here, talking about how important it was with gender equality.
Six men from Örebro University, SALA-IDA and SIPU talking about how important it was that women were included in local government. That in a country influenced by Communism for the last 80 years, where the Party appointed the politicians and in some way managed to be more gender neutral. Well done, guys, demanding from the Mongolians that they should include women but never sending any yourself, until Hubby started taking his wife here… It is somehow as when Hillary ‘Hypocrisy’ Clinton says that China will have to take human rights into account to prosper; her own government ignoring democracy and human rights when it comes to justice, ordering extrajudicial killings and keeping taxi drivers in prison in Cuba without a trial.
On the other hand these Swedes were right. There would, for example, have been no women in Hubby’s research group, should he not have made it very clear that it had to be. In Post-Communist Mongolia the representation of women has decreased, very obvious looking at the gender balance of the Members of Parliament. Somehow democracy doesn’t seem to be gender neutral.
* See you/Auf Wiedersehen/På återseende