Bruce spends a month with traditional nomads in the Darhad Valley, near the Siberian border of Outer Mongolia. Barely arrived, he gets his first lessons in the two national obsessions: ... See full summary »

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Bruce Parry ...
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Bruce spends a month with traditional nomads in the Darhad Valley, near the Siberian border of Outer Mongolia. Barely arrived, he gets his first lessons in the two national obsessions: wrestling and horses in a mountainous land almost without car-fit roads. He soon attends in Rencenlumbe the Naddam, a festival of traditional contests, the main ones being wrestling and a 15 km bare-back horse race for riders from age 6 up. Twelve years after the fall of Communism, the valley gets its first own newspaper, yet 'revolutionary' remnants, often Soviet- Russian, remain common. An old Lamaist monk recalls the persecution which in 1938 destroyed the 1000 men strong monastery, never replaced. His hosts, Mishig's family, expect Bruce to help out when everyone migrates, four times a year, with the yak, sheep, goat and horse herds, whose self-processed produce makes them nearly self-sufficient. The whole dwelling is designed for easy mobility, mainly in gerts, an ingenious traditional type of tent. Written by KGF Vissers

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9 August 2005 (USA)  »

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