on Mongolian Guinness (Mongolia), 02/Sep/2009 02:46, 34 days ago
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From 10-12 July was the Naadam festival– which centres around the three 'manly' sports of archery, horse riding and wrestling. In UB each sport is held at a different venue. A group of us went out to the horse racing venue on the Saturday and camped overnight. We camped on a hill overlooking the course.In the evening there was a string of horses on the brow of the hill standing in silhouette– truly beautiful.The horse racing the next day was pure chaos. There was a line of stands on one side of the track by the finish line. In front of this was a line of police officers, who (at this point!) were extremely friendly, chatting with the crowd and taking photos for people. As the finish approached, it got busier and busier, people climbing over each-other to get a view. I was concerned that I would pulled off the stand or it would tip over. After the race, part of the crowd rushed the course to touch the winning and fast horses. This is when the police turned– anyone who crossed that line were asking for it!!! Before the race we saw them carrying what we thought were torches – which made no sense at all. After the race we discovered that they were not torches – they were tazars, and they enjoyed using them!My parents arrived the next day on the trans-Siberian railway. I took them to the trainers’ Naadam (a mini festival for those working during the weekend and unable to enjoy the festival). The horse-racing, archery and wrestling were all in the same place. It was a much more relaxed and enjoyable affair.WrestlingDad trying archeryMum building a gerDudes on horsesMore pictures: