I had planned to be productive today…but I saw a news story about how there was going to be a protest on horseback so I went to Sukhbaatar Square instead. (for better pictures, see the link below).
In the summer there is a 5 day national holiday, Naadam, where Mongolians compete in horse racing, wrestling, and archery. A law was recently adopted (or is about to be adopted?) that would allow horses from outside the Mongolian bloodline to compete, which seems to many like a violation of a deeply imbedded cultural value.
So horse were ridden onto the square to protest.
They were quickly led off the square by police. But they got the attention of the media and the spokesmen and women were able to share about what they were protesting and why to a whole slew of Mongolian reporters. (Click here to see IKON News’s photos, which are way better than ours)
But also one the square…
But, also on the square there was a healthy and safe food expo (IKON News covered it here) which had tents of local foods along with a stage for speeches, dancing, and other celebratory displays.
And it’s graduation season.
We saw so many people in graduation robes and so many in deels. It’s common, for big life moments like graduation and weddings to get pictures taken at the square. There were flower vendors, graduates, families, and photographers. At one point I teared up simply because the shared experience of the joy and hope of graduation is universal and we got to witness people celebrating.
Regretfully, Cory didn’t have his camera with him so we were only able to capture some shots with our phones.
I ended up being productive…in a different way than expected…and thoroughly enjoyed learning about culture through protest and celebration.