ANOTHER SUCESSFUL NOMADS` DAY AT STEPPE NOMADS
The 3rd annual "Nomads Day Festival" took place on the same 17-18 September 2007 in the same amazing venue the Gun-Galuut nature reserve. The Nomads' Day festival is dedicated to reviving this unsurpassed cultural heritage and inheriting it to the young generation and extending Mongolian short tourist season as well.
The number of participants is increasing year by year and this time, 5 teams of local nomads and 4 teams of tourists took part in the various competitions and over 60 foreign visitors and many officials and media delegations witnessed the great event with us. Last year it was 3 nomadic teams and 2 tourists team competing in relevant competitions. Over 30 horse racers from 5 different Soums of Tuv province and 1 Soum of Khentii province took part in the horse racing of the Naadam festival. 32 strong men wrestled while 28 archers of 2 teams checked their marksmanship in the archery competition. This year's Mongolian Image beautiful rider couples competition attracted lots of attention as "singing" task was added to the challenges. "Melodies of the Steppes" concert was organized as a music competition among local nomads this time and it was a success! 6 music groups from 6 Soums of Tuv province competed with 20 minutes programme each and was judged by some well-known artists, an organizer and a representative from the visitors. The musical teams were aged between 6 to 70 years old and were all so wonderful. The Governor's Office of Bayandelger Soum of Tuv province, Gun-Galuut Community Association, Selena Travel LLC and Steppe Nomads Tourist Camp organized this festival jointly as a tradition. Mr. Sukhbaatar Shirchin, vice Justice minister and a native of Bayandelger Soum, emphasized in his speech that this festival is great in many ways and is a big support for preserving Mongolian nomadic customs and traditions and was happy to see his native Soum is doing a lot for this great event.
The peaks of the festival were: "The Nomads' Day" - nomadic cultural competition among the local nomadic groups and the "Shuvuun Saaral" mini Naadam - a smaller version of traditional Mongolian games including wrestling, horse racing and archery.
Folk art competition "Great Steppes Melodies" among the local music bands, "Beauty of the Steppes" contest of beautiful rider couples and fun "Cosmopolitan Guys" competition among the tourists cheered the spectators a lot as before.
Horsemen Show held among the nomadic spectators that included catching horse with a horse catching pole called Uurga, breaking in a horse, grabbing Uurga from the ground at full gallop and many other interesting horsemen skills was a favorite of both foreign and Mongolian spectators.
This year, 5 local nomadic teams competed in the Nomads' Day nomadic cultural competition and Gray Horse team of Baganuur topped for showing their knowledge and skills. 5 tasks of traditional nomadic customs including using traditional means of transport such as yak cart, camel cart etc, building their gers in the shortest time and welcoming the guests for tea, male members catching and breaking in horses, female members making ropes with camel wool and collecting dungs for fire and little members playing traditional Mongolian game Shagai to show their mental capacities were performed.
Last year's champions came last to everyone's surprise. 5 music groups from 4 different soums took part in the Steppe Melodies folk art competition and Dance Dance group from Baganuur won with their magnificent dances and songs. The groups were to perform a song, a dance, a musical performance and another art within 5 minutes.
Urse and Dolphin from Switzerland took the 1st prize among 6 teams competed in Metropolitan Guys tourists' competition. Effervescent Swiss girl Dolphin saddled a Mongolian horse within 35 sec leaving 5 guys behind, and Swiss guy Urse collected the most dungs in 20 seconds and topped 1 guy and 4 women, who performed the "ladies' duty".
Rider couple from Bayandelger Mr. Altansukh and Mrs. Togsjargal showed their talents and won in the Beauty of the Steppes.
32 strong wrestlers took part in the wrestling and Enkh-Ochirkhuyag of Baganuur won. Last year, 16 wrestlers took part in the competition.
Archery attracted more people this year as the archers competed with Khalkha archery, one of the most challenging archery of the Mongols. The archers competed in teams and Asian Wolves from Baganuur won.
Horse racing was for 5 year old horses, considered to be the fastest and the smartest of all horses. Horse racer from Bayandelger Monkhbat won in the race with his marvelous chestnut horse.
In the evening of 18 Sep, guests enjoyed "Delicacies for Genghis" gala dinner at Steppe Nomads camp. Everyone admired steppe delicacies and took pictures with the competition winners for their inspiring Mongolian memories.