The Mongol empire was founded by Genghis Khan in 1206 and has since been ruled by various nomadic empires. Mongolia declared independence in 1911 from the collapsing Qing Dynasty, but struggled due to “de facto independence”, we had declared independence, but China did not recognize this new independence or apply legal constraints to protect it. Struggling, Mongolia turned to Russia for help.
The interesting fact is Mongolia has two Independence day celebrations.
In 1920 the Russians invaded Mongolia and liberated them from occupation by the newly formed Republic of China. To eliminate any future Chinese threat from the Russian border, it was decided to install an independent communist Mongolian government on 11th July 1921. This is now celebrated by the Naadam festival, 11th to 13th July each year. This is the biggest festival in Mongolia, at which, contestants participate in the three manly sports of wrestling, archery and horse riding.
Mongolia worked from 1921 until 1924 on their new constitution. Mongolians celebrate their Independence Day on November 26th of every year. The constitution created the Mongolian People's Republic. In 1992 a new constitution was established and the 'People's Republic' was dropped from the name. However this day is still celebrated as our official Independence Day.
Snowballs made from Aarts
ÐÐ°Ñ€Ñ†(aarts) are curds made from sour milk (Mongolian yoghurt) that can be eaten in many ways. We have pies, cakes, hot beverages, ice creams, shakes and desserts made with it. You can even buy packaged aarts from almost every supermarket here.
On this November issue, we will share a super healthy, simple and yummy dessert made from aarts. As it snowed heavily today (11.11.11) in Ulaanbaatar, so it’d great to make some snowballs made from Aarts!
What you will need:
A cup of aarts
3 t.spoons of Sour cream
3 t.spoons of sugar
Simple, yet yummy!
On Saturday the 12th, our volunteers had a photoshooting session in Mongolian Traditional Costumes.
Each of us had our individual photos taken, and down here you can see the group photo. Pretty isn't it? :)
It’s Wednesday afternoon, we have diligently done 2 ½ days at work already this week, so decided to take the afternoon off and indulge in a bit of culture and take in the Mongolian Wrestling.
We departed for the Wrestling Palace in the east of the city, paid our 5000Tug (after some slight confusion as to where the tickets could be acquired from) and settled in for an afternoon of sport.
What followed was 3 hours of us looking baffled, confused and occasionally emitting loud cheers at, what we assumed, were key moments. All the while, we were being given a rundown of events by a neighbouring Mongolian, in German, in an incredibly noisy arena, which ultimately didn’t clarify things much at all.
If you have not yet ventured inside the Wrestling Palace, we would strongly recommend it. Take a drink and your camera and enjoy. There are masses of semi naked men holding on to each other in various poses, occasionally flipping each other to the floor, running into other wrestling pairs, the sound system, the judges tables and the audience. At some point one of the pair is inexplicably declared the winner, whereupon he reclaims his pointy hat, dances like a bird around a flag pole and then swiftly relinquishes his hat as he starts on his next opponent. The floor is filled with many pairs of wrestlers and older men whose job appears to be holding hats and occasionally slapping the wrestlers on their bum.
After 45 minutes or so, the round was complete, the floor cleared and the interval entertainment started. This in itself was worth attending for – we were treated to bands, dancing karate kids, singing and some form of military ballet. All truly excellent.
Although we didn’t stay until the end of the competition (dinner called) we were reliably assured that at some point, one of the many wrestlers would be crowned a lion, or an elephant, or some such lofty title.
You should all go. But maybe Wikipedia the rules first. I’m sure it would make a lot more sense then…..
Khuushuur (Mongolian: Ñ…ÑƒÑƒÑˆÑƒÑƒp) is a kind of meat pastry or dumpling popular in Mongolia. The meat, either beef or mutton, is ground up and mixed with onion (or garlic) salt and other spices. The cook rolls the dough into circles, then places the meat inside the dough and folds the dough in half, creating a flat half-circular pocket. The cook then closes the pockets by pressing the edges together. A variety of khuushuur has a round shape made by pressing the dough and mince together using the dough roller. After making the pockets, the cook fries them in oil until the dough turns a golden brown. The khuushuur is then served hot, and can be eaten by hand. This type of Mongolian cuisine is similar to buuz in that the meat is prepared in the same way and cooked in a dough pocket, the principal difference being that buuz is steamed instead of fried. Some Mongolians hold the fresh khuushuur between their palms and also with the tips of all fingers to stimulate the nerves and blood circulation in the hands. This is believed to be curative. In some occasions, a hot khuushuur is placed on the soles of the feet and other selected places to treat neurosis and health conditions related to the balance of the air element of the five elements composing the human body.
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