September 1, 2010

G is for Gates

Even Mongolians think the town of Hovd (or Khovd, with a silent K) about 1600 km (1000 miles) west of the capital Ulaanbaatar is remote. Yet the town is home to nearly 30,000 people, comprising over a dozen different ethnic groups and nationalities, many living according to their own cultural values and ways - including language, dress and housing.

In an earlier post I shared images of the national sport of wrestling in Hovd during the annual Naadam Festival. Today's photos will be more mundane: today you will see gates.

These people may be poor, dirt poor, but they are proud. And it seems to me that one very simple way they have to express their individuality is through the gates to their private inner courtyards. Just look at the colors and patterns. What do you think?

Mongolia, 2007




Here there the pale blue metal gate matches the wood ger door...


Beyond the gates is typically one ger and several stone structures...


The people of Hovd are among the most hospitable I have ever met. They readily opened their gates to let us in...


There were lots of smiling children around...


Pretty young faces...


And even a lively character - he wanted to sell us his theater coat...


I found all these gates on this one typical wide boulevard in the town of Hovd.


These gates are posted for ABC Wednesday where the letter of the week is G, as well as for Outdoor Wednesday. For more takes on the letter G or views of the outdoors, click the links.

39 comments:

Cezar and Léia said...

wow thanks for taking us with you in your trips, this place is so different, very interesting post!
Those GATES are great!
I love the lovely pictures of the people there.
Léia :)

Jedediah said...

I love the guy in the coat :) I enjoyed seeing photos from such a distant place.

Leo said...

the guy in the coat looked like he was welcoming us.. as ur post takes us alongside u on the trip :D

My ABC Wednesday G

Kay L. Davies said...

Amazing. I love the gates, and the man with the coat. But imagine 100,000 people living there. In all your photos, it looks like a small village.
You do get to the most extraordinary places, Francisca, and you have such a good eye for catching the character of a person or a place.

Sylvia K said...

What an incredible place and I do love the man in the coat! Thanks for sharing such fascinating information from your trip! This is definitely a place I'll never be able to travel to, but your photos are the next best thing! Terrific post for the G Day!

Sylvia

Nanka said...

Such a remote place - Mongolia.
Loved the trip through your snapshots.
Dirt poor yet a happy lot...especially those children...
Difficult life there must be..
Thank you for your post.
Loved it!!

Rumya said...

Thank you for this amazing post on Gates.
Truly wonderful to see the world through your perfect pictures with the explanation.
Loved it!! :)
Have a great week!!

Mara said...

I wish people would stop posting photos of beautiful and far-off places. My list of 'where to go if I win the lottery' is now four pages long!

Great G!

Roger Owen Green said...

I have friends from Mongolia; maybe someday I could actually go there...


ROG, ABC Wednesday team

Francisca said...

@Kay - I checked the population figure, and I was wrong. It's near 100K in the entire Hovd aimag (province), but about 30K in town. I have corrected my post. :-)

EG Wow said...

The gates are picturesque, that's for sure! Wow! You really DO get around, don't you?

jennyfreckles said...

It's wonderful to see and hear about these remote places. It reminds me that people are people wherever in the world - similar hopes and needs really - a home (with gates!), family, friendship. Looks like you were as interesting to them as they were to you.

Gramma Ann said...

I live in my little bubble in my little corner of the world, and what a stark contrast to the life of others through your photographs. Thanks for taking me for an eye-opening trip with you to Mongolia this G day of Gates.

tapirgal said...

These are beautiful. Each photo is artistic, and I also love the one with the green gate at the bottom and the houses above. That's some theater costume! Are the people as happy and healthy as they look? It appears to be a healthy place to live.

Wanda said...

Wow, these are images you won't see everyday. Thanks for sharing a most interesting way to share "G"

photowannabe said...

A fascinating and exotic place. i love the variety of gates and the sweet faces of the children.

shirley said...

Beautiful images. I love the colors, patterns and people. You have a great eye.

Coffeeveggie addict. said...

The ph0tos are all great kn0wing s0me facts ab0ut all th0se pe0ple was a great chance and thanks f0r sharing all the ph0t0s in y0ur trip,by the way the red bananas in y0ur previ0us p0st-we als0 have that here in taiwan but n0t as sweet as th0se fr0m my h0me c0untry-philippes!

VioletSky said...

This is fascinating. These gates all look so huge - do they keep animals in their courtyards? That may account for the wide size?

Ebie said...

Thanks for sharing your globe-trotting photos with us. The gates are artistic and colorful.

Vernz said...

it's not material of the gate that matters, maybe the person that will open it for you or the person behind that gate... love it..

I hope you can drop by
My ABC Wednesday here
And HERE TOO

Luna Miranda said...

a "gated" community, Mongolia style.:p

Becky K. said...

The children are so charming!
And who doesn't love a "character"?
Great photos.

Becky K.
Hospitality Lane

Ann said...

What kind of job do you have? What ever it is, it is very Fun and you get to travel to so many places.

Julie said...

You take me to places of which I know not and for that I am most appreciative. I like gates and I like decay. They may be poor, but they have immense wealth.

That is some wide boulevard ... and that first place name sure has its fill of the letter 'a'.

Anita said...

Incredible photos!! Thanks so much for stopping by! I'm very happy to find your blog, and I'll be back!

Manang Kim said...

I remember last week you were in New York, now your in Mongolia, now I am envious (did I say this word last week?hahaha). By the way, where they get all this metal sheets, it looks heavy. Thanks for sharing!
ABC Wednesday

Joanne said...

Extraordinary! Another amazing place in the world, I have seen similar scenes in the townships in South Africa.

VP said...

Wonderful reportage, hard for us to get something more exotic than this!
I like this series of gates and I am quite fascinated by this people...

Mom vs. the boys said...

wow, I loved this! great photos, really interesting!

Linda said...

What great photos...you have a wonderful eye.

Denise said...

A lovely series of photographs. There is a lot of beauty in those old gates. Great portrait pics too. Very enjoyable, thank you.
An English Girl Rambles

Jacob said...

Another wonderful post. (Is there any place in this ol' world you haven't visited?) I've read about people living in these remote areas...quite interesting.

And this post surely gives new meaning to the phrase "gated community" such as the one we live in here at Stone Creek.

Jacob said...

Hi again! Re your comment on Cedar Key...I can't imagine you "hating" anything so you must have been exercising the right of hyperbole! ;-)

What do you mean you've made bunches of those plaques? Where you or are you in the plaque-making bizness?

Jacob said...

Me agin! Re the "painting." I liked the original shot just fine. But I do like to play around with Photoshop. And I like this particular effect.

T. Becque said...

I love this series!! What a great insight into a people. And the gates are fantastic! THanks.

JM said...

What a fantastic subject, Francisca! Wonderful post, I really enjoyed it.

Jenny said...

Oh my goodness. These gates are amazing. I love the texture and layers of pattern and patina.

I needed a little trip this morning.

Thanks for letting me tag along.

I still wish you would have stopped for a potty break, though!

Sorry, just being silly this morning.

Evelyn said...

Fantastic gates - they have so much character.