eriyn gurvan nadaam...

mongolia01The Nadaam festival, or eriyn gurvan nadaam; Mongolia's biggest festival of the year.

It runs for three days in the middle of July, in all parts of the country and highlights Mongolia's finest, competing in horse racing, archery, and wrestling: Mongolia's three most popular sports. Women also compete.

Mongolia's most famous chamption wrestler title-holder is: 'Eye-Pleasing Nationally Famous Mighty and Invincible Giant.'

Mongolian Etiquette

Social protocols and courtesies of visiting a Mongolian ger (tent/home) are complex. A government tourist office guide recommends the following:

"Greet the family members and sit down. Mongolians respect by sitting, but Europeans show respect by standing. Do not sit putting one leg over another, or else people will think that you are looking down on them. Do not cross your arm over your chest while sitting. They would think that you are sick. Do not point at people. They would suspect that you bring them to evil. It is not allowed to show your palm to others, put up your shoulders, put up your nose and bending your neck because Mongolians dislike it and would think that they offended their guests and gave bad impressions. Therefore, they would start worrying about it. Women cannot sit on the place of honour where men sit. Most of Asian people respect men and give them a seat in the place of honour. Europeans let women sit in the place of honour. If one gives praise to the wife, the husband dislikes it and the wife feels ashamed. Being ashamed, she turns her head and hides her face with palms of her hand. If a present is given right upon entry in a ger, they will be upset and surprised and worried. The custom is to present a gift before leaving. According to European culture tea is offered at the end, but in Mongolian tradition tea must be the first thing to be offered. Mongolians dislike when people drink tea holding from the top of the cup and would think that they do not know Mongolian custom but will not have courage to tell it straight."