Bilegtsaikhan Pagva makes a cutting board for cooking and kneading dough at his home workshop in Erdenet, a city in Mongolia’s Orkhon province. Bilegtsaikhan, who has stomach cancer, makes wooden kitchen tools as a healthier alternative to plastic. “No matter how serious one’s disease is, a person should not abandon his or her wishes and goals in life,” Bilegtsaikhan says with a smile. “One should work hard.”
Ochgerel Batbayar bottle-feeds a newborn goat at her home in Orkhon, a soum in Mongolia’s Bulgan province. “Sometimes I talk to them as if I am with my friends,” she says with a smile. “It seems to me that they understand my conversations.”
Uuriintuya Tumenbayar knits using a traditional Mongolian method called zoos shiree suljmel, or coin table knitting, in Dalanzadgad, a city in Mongolia’s Umnugovi province. Uuriintuya, who was named the best craftswoman in Umnugovi province in 2019, promotes and teaches this method on her website, Ancestral Craft.
Seltan Maristala, 10, sells vegetables to her brother Seltan Mariyaruban, 12, at MN/Adampan R.C.T.M.S., a school in Sri Lanka’s Mannar district. The school hosts a market once a year to strengthen the students’ math, prediction, and discussion skills. They encourage parents and the community to participate.
Nurse Baigalmaa Sukhbaatar tests Gantumur Naranmandmar for the coronavirus using a polymerase chain reaction test at School No. 133 in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. The government recommended that all essential workers get tested, and on this day, workers at this site tested as many as 1,000 citizens.
From left, Munkh-Erdene Dalantai, Molor-Erdene Munkh-Erdene, Enkhzaya Bayanjargal and Enkhtsatsral Munkh-Erdene play shagai, a traditional Mongolian anklebone game, in Erdenet, a city in Mongolia’s Orkhon province. The object of the game is to make an alag melkhii, or multicolored turtle. The family plays shagai every night to temporarily distance the children from television and mobile phone screens.
Ursup Mohmad Savul Hameadh sells toys outside temples in Inuvil, Jaffna district, Sri Lanka. “There is no place in Sri Lanka where I have not set foot on,” he says. “I go wherever temple festivals take place.”
An abandoned camel, whose foot froze after it was left for 20 days without food on the side of a road, gets a foot massage from Suvdaa Tumurbaatar, left, and Zorigtbaatar Bolormaa in Umnugovi province, Mongolia. When Suvdaa heard about the injured camel, she brought it home and bandaged its foot with medicinal herbs and a melted butter called “shar tos.”
Farmers Anthonipillai Asaippillai, left, and Sebamalai Dilsan clean an irrigation canal in Sornapuri, a village in Sri Lanka’s Mannar district. The volunteers remove grasses and shrubs when they begin to block the canal, which transports water from Kattukarai, the area’s largest reservoir.
Tserenjav Uuganbat patrols the area around the Tolit secondary school to make sure citizens comply with lockdown measures during the strict quarantine in Songinokhairkhan, a district in the Mongolian capital of Ulaanbaatar. Since there aren’t enough police officers to enforce the lockdown, 27,000 civil servants were brought in to help.
Ravichanthiran Nalayini makes household items with palm leaves at her home in Cheddikulam, a town in Sri Lanka’s Vavuniya district. Her palm leaf products include boxes, string-hopper trays, winnows, mats and sacrificial trays.
In Gairidhara, a neighborhood in Kathmandu, Nepal, Binay Kumar Bista and Barsana Bista, 1, write on the Saraswati temple’s walls with white chalk during Saraswati Puja, a festival that marks the arrival of spring. Barsana is celebrating the festival for the first time, and Bista prays to Saraswati, the goddess of knowledge, for the infant to gain wisdom.
Sani Pariyar, 17, chops chicken at a shop in Jorpati, a neighborhood in Kathmandu, Nepal. Customers flock to the shop because they only sell local chicken, which they display out front. He says people consume the chicken mostly during festivals and on Saturdays.
Subban Thyagaraja paints cement pottery at his home workshop in Vavuniya, a city in Sri Lanka’s Northern Province. Industries like Thyagaraja’s are seeing a gradual increase in business since they were shut down due to the coronavirus.
Tamiraa Narantsatsral paints a recycled wine bottle at the Natsagdorj Library in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. Tamiraa is part of a Facebook group, “Redesigned Fashion. Lifestyle,” that saves and redesigns recycled materials, like glass bottles and clothing, to promote environmentalism.
Gansukh Sharavsambuu carries fodder to a storage facility in southern Mongolia’s Umnugovi province. The animal feed will be provided to herders who are suffering from a dzud, a Mongolian term for a severe winter in which it is common for a large number of livestock to die.
Man Bahadur Magar, 40, sits beside the Pritivi Highway and waits for customers to buy fish caught in the Trisuli River in Dhading, a district in Nepal’s Bagmati province. As vehicles pass, he waves to the passengers, hoping to catch their attention. He occasionally waters the fish to keep them fresh.
From left, Iyaththurai Sajeeban, 18; Jeral Nishanthan Ninujan, 18; and Selvaratnam Puvikaran, 27, decorate pots in Kalviyankadu, a village in Sri Lanka’s Northern Province. The pots are for Thai Pongal, a Hindu harvest festival celebrated in January.
Oyunsuvd Enkhbold, front, and Mishigsuren Namjil look through binoculars while on a date to a 10-meter-high observation tower in the forest known locally as Tujiin Nars, in Mongolia’s Selenge province. From 1986 to 2002, large fires destroyed 70% of the pine forest. After rehabilitation projects, 70,805 hectares (273 square miles) of the forest were restored. It’s now a national park.