Progress of family planning in Mongolia

Analysis of current access to reproductive health care resources and impact of lack of accessibility to rural populations especially. Original can be found here.

Family planning services are available in Mongolia, but recent research reveals room for improvement, especially for rural access, prevention of maternal deaths and domestic violence. The UNFPA, Marie Stopes International and several other NGOs are working with the government to provide better access to reproductive health resources.

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Researchers discuss the challenges of Mongolian cultural preservation

An article for The UB Post reporting the American Center for Mongolian Studies’ Cultural Preservation Conference. Original can be found here.

The American Center for Mongolian Studies hosted the ACMS Conference on Mongolian Cultural Heritage last week.

Presentations were given by over 20 speakers hailing from academic institutions worldwide. Researchers were affiliated with organizations such as the Max Planck Institute, the National Library of Mongolia, Global Leadership University, University of Warsaw, and the Archaeological Institute of Slovak Academy of Sciences among others. Topics of discussion included anthropology, archaeology, and history, as well as economics, biology, literature, and others.

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Successes in combating Mongolian brain drain

Article on Mongolians returning to their homeland after being educated abroad to contribute to the economic and societal development of their nation. Original can be found here.

More and more Mongolians are enrolling in institutions abroad, and while student mobility benefits the economy, “brain drain” has posed a concern in the past. However, in recent years, there has been a decrease in the number of citizens who remain abroad. Individuals are increasingly returning to work in their motherland, motivated by both nostalgia and the country’s growing start-up scene.

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Another face in the crowd

A brief contemplation on a naive young woman’s first sexual encounter and the meaning of intimacy – whether physical or romantic.

When they first met, to her, he was just another face in the crowd, standing at the top of the stairs, waiting, looking out at the mountains sprawling beyond the traffic of the city.

But the night he brought her home and kissed her, he whispered against her lips that he wanted her. It was only at that moment that she really saw his face for the first time.

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Archaeologists call for action against looting and climate change

An article discussing the effects of looting and climate change on Mongolian cultural heritage per an event by the American Center for Mongolian Studies. Original can be found here.

Looting and climate change have always posed problems to preservation of Mongolian cultural heritage, but recent years have seen an increased impact on both.

Dr. Julia Clark, cultural heritage coordinator for the American Center of Mongolian Studies, adjunct lecturer at Flinders University in Australia and founder of NOMAD Science Mongolia, gave a talk at the American Corner on June 5 discussing this issue. To solve the problem, she called for further research, monitoring, education, building local support, and expanding awareness of cultural identity through entertainment and tourism.

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I’m still dreaming about growing up

This poem is so old. I wrote it for a couple of friends who were dating and who requested a poem for Valentine’s Day as part of a Literary Society fundraiser. It was later published in our first ever literary magazine, which can be viewed here.

 

The thing about getting older and older is that you don’t notice

Until you realize that you’ve stopped splashing in silver puddles

And picking lace-thin dandelions

And making wishes on them.

 

You don’t like waking up early anymore and

Instead of listening to the birds and bells at dawn

And you throw the pillow on your head

Trying to sink back into sleep

(and sometimes wanting to stay that way forever).

 

But sometimes I catch your eye and you take my hand

And I think about silver puddles and lace-thin dandelions

And making wishes.

 

And sometimes I wake up to birds and bells at dawn

And instead of throwing the pillow over my head

I lay there and listen, and I want to stay awake

Because they remind me of the way you laugh.

Somewhere down this road

Already a month has passed, and I have only a month more to go. It took me forever, but on Thursday I finally took my first trip out of Ulaanbaatar to the countryside. I hopped in a white sedan with a Mongolian tour guide who spoke no English and a Japanese traveler for a two hour ride to Aglag Buteel. Founded by the monk G. Purevat, the monastery offers a sweeping view of the valley below and a peaceful environment for meditation. The problem was that it is couched in the heart of Daliin Khavtsal Mountain. I looked up at the rocky staircase winding to the temple, the snaking trails leading to the peak. I looked down at my battered sneakers. I was definitely not prepared to hike.

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Private school students are better prepared for universities abroad

An article discussing the issue of inequalities in public and private school education in Mongolia. Original can be found here.

“There is a Mongolian saying – ‘a man with two horses will travel far,’” said Nemuun Gal, vice-principal for international relations and projects at Hobby School, referring to said school’s bilingual curriculum and history of student matriculation at international universities.

International tertiary education appears to be a trend for all high school graduates in Mongolia; the number of private and public high schoolers enrolling in university abroad has increased steadily in recent years.

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The psychology of secular saints: Americans worship celebrities for better or worse

Arts column article for The Wellesley News on societal worship of celebrities. Original can be found here.

The New York Times recently published an article regarding celebrity worship, asserting that Canadian singer-songwriter and poet Leonard Cohen has become a “secular saint” in Montreal. According to the article, Montreal citizens are obsessed with him; they paint murals of him, sing his songs and visit his house as well as the places he frequented. As The New York Times put it, “In the pantheon of Montreal cultural figures, the soulful, self-effacing singer occupies exalted space.”

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Binding the old and the new: Clapp workers preserve historical books in the digital age

A feature article written for The Wellesley News on Clapp conservation collections and the importance of physical books in an increasingly digitally-focused world. Original can be found here.

With the advent of the Kindle and other e-readers, have the bound spines and printed ink of physical books faded into the past? The conservationists and archivists at Wellesley say no, and they go the extra length to rebind books that are falling apart.

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