Carolina Mongol Naadam at Deepriver Campground 2012
The Carolina Mongol Community celebrated the Mongolian Traditional Festival /Naadam/ July 14th and 15th at Deepriver Campground near Asheboro, NC. On July 14th in the afternoon we listened to beautiful Mongolian songs, as we set up our tents, after that everybody shared the food they brought and danced Mongolian homeland dances as well as modern dances late into the night ending with the singing of many traditional Mongolian songs having enjoyed a fun night.
On July 15th after breakfast everyone made Mongolian famous “Naadam” food called “Huushuur” it is like a fried calzone with ground meat only. It was amazing that on such a hot day how delicious the deep fried Huudhuur tasted, everyone was happy working together. Then started the Mongolian Festival opening - community leader Odonchimeg Geurcio delivered the opening statements followed by the singing of the Mongolian national anthem “Turiin Duulal” by all in attendance followed by traditional Mongolian cheers with arms reaching towards the sky.
Mongolian-Americans are people proud of their ancestral homeland, traditions, culture and life style. There was an exhibition table set up displaying traditional Mongolian artifacts, clothing, books and pictures on the history of Naadam with the tie in to the three sports involved – archery, horse racing and most of all wrestling. They enjoyed challenging each other in a quiz game about “Naadam’s” sport and history. Most knew the origins and nuances of each sport yet some learned aspects of the history that they had not heard of before.
There was a dance show presented by some of the Mongolian children present - some choosing traditional Mongolian dances such as Nandia who performed “Myangad” her younger sister Anujin performed “Baby mine” ballet and “zippe de doo dah” a pop dance. Michelle tapped to the song “Happy feet” while rhyming the lyrics. Then all the children present joined together to sing “Chihchiin chine bietei” – or in English “itty bitty me”.
The Carolina Mongols celebrated the three sports of Naadam (same thing to Mongolians as the Olympics) In the place of actual horse racing they had foot races by age of contestants – instead of authentic bows and arrows shooting at far away targets they used toy bows and shot at stacked cups again by age of contestants – instead of actual wrestling contests they had the men to perform the Eagle dance that real Mongolian wrestlers perform before and after they defeat their opponent. There were also championship games of chess and checkers deciding champions after long heated bouts.
Also from Greensboro, NC Nars Borjigin came with his wife, two children as well as his sister - he and his wife brought handmade dumplings for everyone. They are originally from Inner Mongolia, he showed how the wrestlers perform their dance before and after they defeat their opponent..
The two day Carolina Mongol Festival was a success - the Mongolians and Americans, families and friends had a wonderful time together and enjoyed the Mongolian traditional festival. Thanks to everyone involved - everyone worked hard and had a good time.