Rosie & Jim's Travel Blog

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Temple Restoration Project Service Project Review Day

Naadam Festival

  |     |   Three Nations   |   Mongolia, Töv

The day has arrived for us all to take part in a mock Naadam Festival run by the Mongolian Rover Scouts. The day began in the usual lazy manner, with the archery competition starting only about 1 hour late. The competition was split into two categories - male and female, and each Aravt stepped up one at a time. The target was a toilet roll within a very small wall made up of black wicker baskets (I think) about the size of a toilet roll so the competition was fierce with almost nobody hitting the target even once. It then came to the turn of Tiger Aravt (i.e. us). Out of the 8 of us shooting, 4 of us hit the target at least once guaranteeing us a place in the final. There were a couple more people who managed to hit the target, but the finals were still dominated by Tigers :). The Mens final was quickly dispatched, but the Womens final had to go down to “Golden Arrow”. In the end, Tigers were victorious with myself winning the Mens competition, and Dawn winning the Womens competition :).

Archery was soon followed by a traditional Mongolian BBQ lunch. There seemed to be endless food, but it was all very nice. Apparrently one of the customs of the Naadam is for the men to have an Airag Chugging Contest. So as not to be sexist in any way, all were invited to take part. This fairly informal part of the proceedings left many passed out all over the field. However, due to the bulk of the competitors (and judges) passing out, no official winner was announced, although in my opinion the title should go to Beth Hooper. Despite being the smallest person on the trip by quite a considerable margin, Beth managed to down a full bowl (probably about 2 pints) with very little difficulty, closely followed by a bottle of beer. Nice one Beth!!

After the dead rose again, the wrestling competition began. In traditional style the girls were banned from taking part, much to the disappointment of some of the guys. Numbers were pulled out of a hat and everyone prayed they would not have to face Troll! Each battle secured one place in the next round, but due to there being an odd number of wrestlers, one person ended up skipping the round. Mark managed to pull the magic number on two rounds, but was knocked out before the final. I managed to finish in a very respectable 4th place having been beaten by the overall winner, Foxy. Thus ended the Naadam Festival with all thoroughly knackered having had a very good day.

Dinner was cooked for us this evening by Wolf Aravt to return the favour. This was again another very nice meal and a chilled out evening.

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