With the summer starting, our learning centers in Mongolei have carried out different events, courses and activities. They covered childrens rights, sexual eduation and English training. Besides, the entire country celebrated the national holiday Naadam with horse races, wrestling and archery.
Our learning center in Baganuur organizes about four to six activities every month for local children and families. Khishigdelger who is in charge of the center offered trainings on positive communication. The sessions included topics like “a Letter to my Daddy” or “How do I look like through eyes of others” and covered sexual education for teenagers, children’s rights and others.
Khishegdelger is an experienced trainer and will share her skills with her colleagues from the other learning centers during a bi-annual training. The next training is scheduled for August and will take place near Murun. Carsten, president of BOOKBRIDGE foundation, and Richard Rupp, member of the foundation board, will also attend the trainings as part of their trip to Mongolia in August. During the trip they will meet with the staff of all learning centers to share ideas and feedback.
In Zavkhan, a monthly English training was organized. 35 students registered for the class. The class was taught by Head of Learning Center Dulamsuren together with a Peace Corps volunteer who will also provide further English teaching training for Dulamsuren.
In the meantime, Mongolia has celebrated Naadam, the national holiday. Naadam means “game” and lasted from July 11-13. During the three days, typically Mongolian games were organized throughout the country: Mongolian wrestling, horse race, and archery.
In the wrestling, usually 512 or 1024 wrestlers take part. The participants who win a larger number of fights gain titles such as falcon, lion, elephant, champion. This year, the province of Selenge got their first champion winning nine wrestlers. Naadam is celebrated since the ancient times of Djinghis Khan.
Horse racing is the favorite sport of the herders who bring their best horses even from great distances. The races, which take place on the steppe over a distance of from 15 to 30 kilometers, are a test of endurance for the horses and riders. The riders are boys and girls aged between four and twelve years. The races are organized according to the age of the horses. The five horses that come in first are awarded with prizes by the country’s President.
The archery contest continues a tradition dating from the times of Djinghis Khan when they were intended to improve military skills. Contestants use compound bows fashioned from sinew, wood, horn and bamboo, strung with bull tendon. Men fire 40 arrows made from willow branches and griffin vulture feathers from a distance of 75 meters and women deliver 20 arrows from 60 meters at a target consisting of 360 small leather rings fitted to a wall. In accordance with ancient custom, several men stand on either side of the target singing a folk song (ukhai) to cheer the contestants and then use hand signals to indicate the results. Winners are also awarded with prizes by President.