The Mush Pit At A Sporting Event
Today I went to the opening ceremony of the Naadam Festival. What can I say. it was truly invigorating! The atmosphere of the crowd was incredible. As the soldiers, monks and participates marched out the crowd literally blew up. They then did a performance of the national instrument, Morin Khuur and a choir performed. The president of Mongolia,Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj, then opened they ceremony. Again, the crowd roared and this time I joined in. The phrase "Now the real fun begins" was repeated numerous times and I soon worked out why. As the wrestling (where the men literally only wore undies) and archery took place in the arena it was like being in a mush pit or rave. The crowd was jumping around screaming, clapping and booing. The effort to stay standing was tremendous. The amount of times I lost my balance and fell I do not know. It all soon got a bit much for me and the sweat I was collecting off other people was disgusting so I went outside for some fresh air. Outside was a lot calmer and I truly got a taste of the Mongolian culture. I observed the cultural art, took many pictures of the Giant Chinggis Khaan statue and literally devoured all the delicious barbecue food. However, my peace did not last long as before I knew it the horse racing was coming to an end and the crowd was packing up with supporters as they all gathered around eager to see the winner. After an afternoon listening to the live music I went back to my motel, showered (getting rid of all the sweat I had accumulated) and went straight to sleep after a light dinner.