Mongolia – Naadam

Mongolia – Naadam

Music: Naadam festival music, to go along with a dance called “Joyful Youth”

We’re listening to the sounds of Naadam, the biggest festival of the year in Mongolia. I’m Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet. The word Nadaam means “competition,” and for three days in July, this festival honors some of Mongolia’s greatest athletes. Peter Marsh is with the department of Central Eurasian Studies at Indiana University.

“The Naadam ceremony is actually a festival — it’s a cultural festival that takes place every year at a set time in communities all around Mongolia, small communities and large. The biggest festival is the national festival that takes place in Ulaanbaatar, the capital, and it’s a three day event where there is focus on three sporting events: wrestling, archery, and horse racing. What are called the three traditional sports in Mongolia. They go back to the time of when the Mongol people were very much a warrior people, when there was a lot of campaigns being undertaken. These festivals were a way of training people for military service, or honing your skills for military service . . . wrestling, archery, horse racing . . . these were all the things that were important in the creation of the Mongolian Empire, way back when. Today, of course, it doesn’t have these warrior overtones, but now they call them the manly sports.”

The celebration on Nadaam goes back at least to the 13th century, when Marco Polo described a gathering of Mongolian chieftains meeting to parley and compete. Well, nowadays, women compete in all aspects of the so-called “manly sports,” except for wrestling. But according to legend, many years ago a host of male wrestlers were once defeated by a woman.

To hear about our new CD, please visit pulseplanet.com. Pulse of the Planet is made possible by the National Science Foundation. I’m Jim Metzner.

Mongolia - Naadam

An 800 year old festival continues from its origin as a "boot camp."
Air Date:07/01/2005
Scientist:
Transcript:

Mongolia - Naadam

Music: Naadam festival music, to go along with a dance called "Joyful Youth"

We're listening to the sounds of Naadam, the biggest festival of the year in Mongolia. I'm Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet. The word Nadaam means "competition," and for three days in July, this festival honors some of Mongolia's greatest athletes. Peter Marsh is with the department of Central Eurasian Studies at Indiana University.

"The Naadam ceremony is actually a festival -- it's a cultural festival that takes place every year at a set time in communities all around Mongolia, small communities and large. The biggest festival is the national festival that takes place in Ulaanbaatar, the capital, and it's a three day event where there is focus on three sporting events: wrestling, archery, and horse racing. What are called the three traditional sports in Mongolia. They go back to the time of when the Mongol people were very much a warrior people, when there was a lot of campaigns being undertaken. These festivals were a way of training people for military service, or honing your skills for military service . . . wrestling, archery, horse racing . . . these were all the things that were important in the creation of the Mongolian Empire, way back when. Today, of course, it doesn't have these warrior overtones, but now they call them the manly sports."

The celebration on Nadaam goes back at least to the 13th century, when Marco Polo described a gathering of Mongolian chieftains meeting to parley and compete. Well, nowadays, women compete in all aspects of the so-called "manly sports," except for wrestling. But according to legend, many years ago a host of male wrestlers were once defeated by a woman.

To hear about our new CD, please visit pulseplanet.com. Pulse of the Planet is made possible by the National Science Foundation. I'm Jim Metzner.