Back in UB, Back in UB
News from the Mongolian front 2017 AD
The year is 2008 and the final touches are being added to the new statue opposite the state department store in the heart of Ulaanbaatar. All is not what it should be as it is not a statue raised in honour of past Khans, kings, mayors or aimeg heads. Nor has it be erected to honour past soviet greats: Marx, Engels, Stalin or Lenin. for those days have long past and the statues to soviet dictators, scholars and leaders are slowly disappearing or merging into to past. Swallowed by the Gobi or melting into the Steppe a remnant of Mongolia’s not to distant past.
The new statue is being built in honour of four famous musicians; this famous group from Liverpool England inspired many during Mongolia’s rock and roll music driven independence movement. It was funded by some of UB’s local politicians, artists and businessmen; it has been standing for almost ten years. Being built on one of the places were Mongolians would gather and talk about the then banned western music during the Socialist era.
The present day statue is now under threat as the government slowly carves into Ulaanbaatar’s community spaces. Where it can it is selling them to business squeezing in more and more construction. The government may have its reasons, but to local citizens it looks like another land grab. This was evident on the evening of Aug 2 2017 the whole area was fenced off and bulldozers moved in on the Beatles. Luckily the local population realised what was afoot and a small crowd slowly gathered protecting the Liverpudlian 4 from destruction. The Beatles broke up once and we don’t want to see that again.
Now with the help of local business around the area, demolition has been halted and this famous UB icon may still remain.
From me to you
‘The word’ in Mongolia is that Mongolians swapped Peace Avenue for ‘penny lane’ not wanting to ‘go back to the USSR’. Removed Lenin’s statue as they felt he was a ‘bad boy’ some even felt he was ‘bad to me’. As they said ‘goodnight’ and ‘goodbye’ to Soviet rule feeling like they’d had a ‘hard day’s night’ they welcomed their democratic period with a ‘good morning good morning’ singing ‘let it be’. Now in modern times they have other issues looking to ‘yesterday’ the local government treats them like a ‘little child’ and the statue like ‘junk; whilst the local people ‘shout’ ‘keep your hands of my baby’ and ‘help’ telling the government to ‘slow down’ and ‘tell me why’ as the famous Beatles statue is in danger of being bulldozed the crowds chant ‘you can’t do that’ so let’s ‘sie liebt dich’ as ‘I’ve got a feeling’ that ‘it won’t be long’ until the powers that be realize that ‘there has been too much monkey business’ and ‘we can work it out’ understanding that ‘it’s all too much’ and although this small statue to them is ‘nowhere man’ and they feel they are ‘just fixing a hole’, ‘I am telling you for those who have lived in, grown up in and visited Mongolia ‘tell me why’ because money ‘cant by me love’ as ‘were all together now’ as we ask ‘take good care of by baby’.
We can’t take you as a ‘day tripper’ but please see our longer tours…
For a list of Koryo Tour's annual Mongolia trips, see here.