Densely unpopulated is happiness

Simone Bardi
MONGOLIA Why are you going to Mongolia? Too many people have asked me that question, so I thought about all those thing I would have lost if I had not gone. Because the answer is not so obvious as it may seem. You’ve read all you could, you’ve done your researches, you’re fascinated by the thought of this land so distant, so alien and of which so little is said. But until your departure you will not have a very plausible answer to this question. So you wait to come back to retrace the river of emotions that swept you when you were down there.

Meanwhile the mind makes a huge leap back to 1997, when the founders of CSI, Ferretti and Zamboni, poured into music their thoughts on the way back from a trip to the Mongolian land and the result was the surprising album “Tabula Rasa Elettrificata” to describe a land where “almost everything is razed, with electricity all over”. From one of the songs from that album – “Bolormaa” – I borrow the words for the title of this post because I believe that nothing could describe Mongolia better than the expression “densely unpopulated is happiness”.
And from this concept, simple and exhaustive as only the Mongols can be, begins my declaration of love for this Country. In Mongolia you will learn to let your eyes go far beyond the boundaries of your imagination and you will think think that “infinity” really exists. You will finally abandon everything that is unnecessary and you will leave space to space, to a gap that does not need to be filled.
You will lose a lot of words and you will learn to appreciate the silence. You will feel far away from everything and everyone, and you will be able to give a sense to your loneliness trying to empathize with theirs. You will be out of breath in front of those immense spaces and you will try to associate the concept of essential to freedom. You will look at the kids on horseback and you will dream to be one of them, you will dream to have that feeling for the rest your days.
You will get lost inside a gher (the traditional Mongolian tent home) and you will be enchanted by the amount of things that you will find inside of it. You will observe all the details and you will think about all the care and time that it took to make those twenty square meters an entire universe that contains their lives. You will meet the monks of the Amarbayasgalant and you will be captured by the strong scent of the incense. You will share your meal with the nomads and you will be smiling in front of their shyness.
You will hate the ferocity with which Mongolia will put you in front of yourself, leaving you plenty of time and space to deal with who you really are. You will walk, drive, ride for hours and hours in the middle of nowhere that will slowly turn into an absolute everywhere. And you will understand what it really means the expression “densely unpopulated is happiness”.
Only after trying all this, only after facing infinity, only then you will realize that Mongolia was already part of you even before you left. And so, at the end of your day, you will close your eyes and you will feel at home.
Mongolia | more photos on

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