The phrase "you can't judge a book by its cover" never rang more true than during the Human Library event held at the American School of Ulaanbaatar on April 15. Over 100 interested individuals gathered to attend this event, which was aimed at using open conversations to break down stereotypes that marginalize numerous groups of people throughout society.Human Library Ulaanbaatar was just one of many such events that have been organized around the world, but it was the first of its kind to be held in Mongolia.
The original concept for the Human Library was developed in early 2000 in Copenhagen, Denmark in order to support anti-violence initiatives, promote open dialogue, and help build relationships and understanding among individuals. Since then, it has evolved into an international phenomenon and has spread to more than 70 countries worldwide.
At Human Library, people can sign out real human "books", listen to their stories, and engage in conversations with them. The human books are chosen so that their stories highlight a particular label or stereotype imposed on them by society.
Such an event provides books with a safe space to share their stories. It also gives readers the opportunity to ask questions, experience the perspectives of others, and develop an understanding and appreciation for the challenges that others face.
The human "books" who shared their stories with others at Human Library UlaanbaatarAt Human Library Ulaanbaatar, 10 human books were represented from a wide range of topics. These books were signed out by numerous readers over seven 20-minute sessions.
The books introduced themselves, recounted some of their experiences, and then answered questions and engaged in conversations with the readers.Gerel Dondovdorj was one of the books at Human Library Ulaanbaatar.
Gerel, who is the president of the Mongolian National Federation of the Blind, shared her experiences living as a blind person and working as an advocate for the blind.Dorjjantsan (Jack) Ganbaatar also joined the event and became a human book.
Jack is in his last year of a bachelor's degree to become a medical doctor, and works as the Health Program manager at the LGBT Center Mongolia. Jack told attendees about his experiences as a LGBT person living in Mongolia.
Alungoo Byambasuren represented the LGBTQI community at Human Library Ulaanbaatar. Alungoo, who is 24 years old, has worked at the LGBT Center in Ulaanbaatar since 2016. Alungoo shared their personal experiences and...