Mongolian Nomads See Photos Of Themselves For The First Time

Well if this doesn’t make you smile, your heart is made of dead puppies and sadness.

Taken from the videographers vimeo site:

this summer we got an amazing opportunity to go on a ten-day motorcycle trip across the scarcely populated steppes of mongolia and live their nomadic life.

while researching mongolia prior to our trip, we found out that most of the natives love having photographs taken of themselves. most nomadic mongolians have never had a polaroid to keep of themselves before, so we decided to bring a bunch of polaroid film along on our motorcycles so each local we met along the way could have a picture to keep of him or herself!

when we asked one family if we could take a picture of them, we were kind of scared of bothering or distracting them from their daily duties. I didn’t see the family for the next ten minutes so I assumed they didn’t want a picture. finally, the family (the first family seen in the video) came out of their yurt all decked out in traditional celebratory clothing only used on mongolian holidays! we were so honored to be able to capture a moment of their lives that would always remain a memory.

people huddled around us just to have their photo taken and once they got one, they’d return to their yurt, but eventually return with other friends or family members who also wanted a polaroid. they were all so shocked when they’d finally see a faded image of their face appear on the polaroid, especially because we couldn’t really concept of polaroids since we speak no mongolian and they speak no english.

each person photographed really prized and protected his or her polaroid (fearing that we wanted to keep it), and barely let us see it when it was developed! the children automatically stored it away once we showed them what was the very first printed picture of themselves. it was a really great and humbling experience and showed us how much just one photograph can mean to people who have never had one of themselves. although many people claim they want to escape this mess of technology in more delevoped countries, we often tend to take the beauty of some technology, such as photography, for granted.

anyways, this video is the reactions of just a few people we photographed…enjoy! 😀

the song is “janglin’ (itunes session)” by edward sharpe and the magnetic zeros

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