This rock statue was originally set up near Erdene Zuu monastery to remind the monks not to become sexually involved with women. Women who wanted to get pregnant could also sit on the rock for good luck.
Hakuhō Shō, left, winning a match during the Spring Sumo tournament March 18th. Hakuhō, who holds the record for the most undefeated tournament championships ever, is Mongolian, from a wrestling family. His father Jigjidiin Monkhbat won the silver medal for freestyle wrestling in the 1968 Olympics.
Mongolians are pretty awesome at wrestling.
A Mongolian first-grader with a Mickey Mouse backpack walks home from school, against the backdrop of the Altai mountains. Photo by Andrew Cullen.
Nauryz, the Kazakh New Year’s celebration going on right now in Bayan-Olgii, traditionally includes a game of kukhbar. Kukhbar is basically “tug of war” with a goat skin, played on horseback.
Also traditional during Nauryz: kyz kuar, a game where a a woman and a man race on horseback. If he wins, he gets to kiss her. If she wins, she gets to hit him with a whip.
Today is Nauryz, which marks the start of the year for Kazakhs and Mongolia’s Kazakh ethnic minority, who see Spring as the first season of the year. There are large Nauryz celebrations in Ulaanbaatar and Olgii.
I don’t know much about Nauryz, but it involves parades, music, and spending three days going form house to house visiting as many friends and relatives as possible and eating their food. Sounds like fun. :)
Uyanga Erdenebold went blind at the age of 14. At age 16, while blind, she taught herself to read and speak English from Braille books (books with bumps on the pages so blind people can read them by touch). She had already read every single Mongolian book available in Braille, and she couldn’t bear the idea of never reading another book.
She won a prestigious Fulbright Scholarship to study library science in America. She works at the US Embassy in Ulaanbaatar, but dreams of opening a library in Ulaanbaatar so that everyone who loves books can find them.
My dream is to establish a modern library in Ulaanbaatar. As you can see in UB, there are not many libraries that are convenient, or places where people want to stay and read. I want to have a very nice, friendly library, where children, disabled people, elderly are welcome to read their newspapers. I see it as a friendly, sunny place where people would feel comfortable, read books and be happy.
Due to a lack of rain most of the year in Mongolia, and a lack of room for a pool table inside the traditional felt ger, outdoor pool tables are common in towns and next to major roads.
"I traveled to the Altay Mountains in Mongolia to photograph the Kazakh nomads known for their eagle-hunting traditions," says Your Shot contributor Tariq Sawyer, whose picture was recently discussed in Your Shot’s new Weekly Wrap feature.
"This photo was taken on the first morning I spent with the nomads. Waking up to experience a harsh spring blizzard, I respected the family’s resilience to the subzero temperatures and freezing winds as they continued their daily routine.
"After completing the morning chores, the family went to tend their herd. As the nomad opened the gate of the pen I saw the sheep forming an orderly charge toward the mountains on the horizon. I went ahead to frame the shot and waited for the nomad, who was frantically herding the sheep, to come into the frame. Just as he appeared the sheep had aligned with the landscape and it all came together."
Susan Fox took these photos of a sturdy two year old Mongolian horse being caught, bridled, and ridden for the first time.
Mongolian horses are short, but strong and tough. DNA analysis shows they have a larger genetic variation than any other breed of horse, which means they are a very old breed, closely related to wild horses and unchanged for thousands of years. They are probably the oldest breed of horse.