Bunch of Mongolian goats, hanging out around a ger, looking for trouble to cause.
Mongolian contortionists are some of the best in the world. Here three Mongolians perform at the Cirque de Soleil in Las Vegas.
A baby Bactrian camel born at the Budapest Zoo has made his first public appearances. He was born April 9th, and is about a week old.
Only about a thousand Bactrian camels remain in the wild, in Mongolia, though there are millions of domesticated ones kept as livestock.
Ashol-Pan, apprentice eagle hunter. She is 13 years old, the usual age for Kazakhs living in the western parts of Mongolia to begin studying the art of hunting with a golden eagle, but it is unusual for girls to learn. Eagle hunters use eagles to catch foxes, wolves, and wild sheep for their furs, which are made into coats and hats to survive Mongolia’s crazy winters.
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.