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Korea, Russia, Stans To East Europe (page 34)

Mongolia Ulaanbaatar Horizons Unlimited Meeting

A combination of all sorts of Mongolian history, travelers doing speeches and various Mongolian based events including cooking, food, music and traditions.

An elderly lady with the help of Baater (The organizer) gave us the low down on Mongolian history and ways, it was an in-depth view into the nomadic lifestyle and history including border changes, war, leaders and general history.

I found it very interesting but again a lot of it was based on war, power and greed which seems to be a common theme in this part of the world as the struggle for silk road trading power was fort for.

Also on the entertainment list was live music and dancing including a contortionist who was incredibly flexible, if I got even close to how far she bent it would involve serious surgery, a hot nurse and some whiskey.

Yes that is an extension cord.
Check this out 8-0

It was a real treat having all the Mongolian culture right here with us and enjoying it nearly one on one knowing it is not just the touristic watered down version you would normally pay a lot for, the wrestlers were actually part of the Mongolian wrestling teams and many of these athletes were titled world champs and they were here in front of us.

The trend interesting enough for the wrestlers is not to have monstrous fat guys like they used to but more muscly brut strength guys, funny enough there was a stocky guy who was not much taller than me but just about as wide over the shoulders and he picked up the biggest dude (guess 120 – 130kg or so) and swung him around like a flow in the breeze.

They also take it very seriously, for us it was a show, for them it is practice for their titles, this also includes doing their starting dance where they walk around the referee holder his shoulder and worshipping/welcoming the wrestle to come.

The beginning of the wrestle starting with the short walk around the referee

There is no time set for the wrestle but an elbow, knee and hand on the ground is the end of the wrestle, the loser of the fight must undo his rope conceding the loss and walk/exit the ring under the arm of the winner therefore making it clear who took the title.     

The winner always takes his glory.
The wrestler on the left has undone his rope and has just walked under the arm of the wrestler on the right who won.
Big burly lads

We were also treated to a Mongolian dragon show dance which was cool, the detail on their costumes and dragon heads was very intricate.

The archers also provided us with a spectacular display of accuracy with a bow and arrow with the older guy hitting a spaghetti size tin from 25 or so metres time and again so every shot in the real world getting food for the family pretty much a dead cert, it was also explained to us that he found it difficult to shoot such a short distance with accuracy, normally he would be shooting 75 metres and extremely accurate.

No scope or lasers for these guys just practice and pure skill, each man getting his own bow which is crafted from bone, wood and glue, each bow custom made to size (but still within the international spec requirements) for the competitor and takes about one year for full fabrication, these are all fully hand made and I have to say the craftsmanship and finish is simply stunning.        

The main man

Treating us to full on Mongolian music this ladies voice was simply incredible, the notes she could go from low to high was unreal, also the sound that came out from extremely soft to outstandingly loud.   

The singer and musician
The musician

The food was a Mongolian goat cooked within the carcass, the smell of the meat was not what you would have expected and not as nice as you would expect, the taste however was beautiful and there was plenty to go.

The animal is gutted and the meat cut then the meat is cooked inside the carcass with rocks out of the fire.     

Meat is ready
Stuffing the meat and stones inside and tieing it off.
Burning the hair off the carcass
The finished product
Lobke from Holland did a presentation, she has been on the road for 3 years.
Todays random photo, me replacing the bottle mount which got shaken off on the Mongolian "main" road.
Three guys who turned up, nice guys too.
Author of this article: Twomotokiwis