Uuganaa Ramsay went to the UK on a teaching scholarship in 2000, and more than a decade later – now a mother and author in Scotland – she continues to educate. Her newly published memoir, “Mongol” was released in e-book format on Human Rights Day, December 10, 2013, and will be available in paperback on January 16.
The book explores the junction of her life growing up in rural Mongolia, adapting as an immigrant in Britain, facing the challenge of being a mother of a child with Down’s Syndrome, and living with loss. The label of “Mongol” impacts her deeply in the memoir, as it shifts from a symbol of pride in Ramsay’s heritage to a word used to alienate, dehumanize and insult. The loss of her son Billy inspired her to share his story, tightly woven into her own.
As Mongolia responds to continued worldwide efforts to improve awareness for the rights and dignity of the differently-abled, Ramsay is on a parallel crusade to educate people about what it truly means to be “Mongol” and what that label is and is not.
Ramsay’s story is one that has interested me as it intersects so many issues that I believe deserve a voice. She’s written the story of an immigrant, marginalization, disability, and dealing with loss. I’m happy to support more voices like hers surfacing, especially to speak for Mongolian identity, which is so often smothered in stereotype and the frenzy for foreign investment opportunities.