Categorie archief: Cultuur

Happy Tsagaan Sar

Vers van de pers. De eerste video van Tsagaan Sar 2017.

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Waarom vieren Mongolen 2x nieuwjaar?

Bij de start van 1 januari viert Mongolië net als Nederland feest. Het traditionele Mongoolse nieuwjaar begint echter veel later. Dat feest, Tsagaan Sar, is dit jaar op 28 februari. Hoe kun je 2 keer nieuwjaar vieren? We vonden het antwoord in een blogbericht van Amar van Bookbridge.

“Mongolians traditionally celebrate Tsagaan Sar, the new years feast. The first “modern” New Year was celebrated in Mongolia in the 1930ies and was initiated by a few young people who had received education in the West. However, it didn’t get much support at that time. Later in 1947, New Year was again celebrated, but this time after an initiative of the Mongolian Central Government. A first cake was made for the celebration – it had a shape of lying sheep! Also, the name “byaluu” was given to a cake which means “rich taste” in Mongolian language by famous writer. 

[tekst gaat verder onder video]

The intention behind celebrating New Year was to introduce the European calendar and get rid off the Asian calendar system when Mongolia was under the influence of socialism and part of the community of socialist countries. Especially people living in urban places were pushed to celebrate New Year and to stop celebrating Tsagaan Sar which is the traditional holiday following the Asian or lunar calendar. Tsagaan Sar has been celebrated for centuries since the times of Chinghis Khan meaning “White Moon”. It is celebrated on the first day of spring and people celebrate that they have successfully gone through the cold Mongolian winter. During Tsagaan Sar, people pay tribute to older people regardless of their social and other status. This tradition is kept still until today. Younger people go and greet older people be it their relatives or seniors in the community. On political level, the President and Prime Minister greet the oldest people living in the capityl Ulaanbaatar.

From the early 1990ies on, Government organizations spent a lot of statal money to celebrate New Year when the country started moving to open market system. It became very normal and employers or organizations that did not celebrate New Year were considered bad employers. However, this year the government changed it policy and decided to spend tax money in a more cost effective way.

Today, people and many organizations (except for government organizations) widely celebrate the beginning of the new year towards the end of December and late January/beginning of February. Thus, my country revels twice: in a traditional way with Tsagaan Sar and in a Western way with New Year.”

Shoppen voor Mongools nieuwjaar

We waren een beetje in de war dit jaar met de datum van het Mongools nieuwjaar (Tsagaan sar) , maar het is echt op 28 februari. In Ulaanbaatar zijn de voorbereidingen in volle gang. Het is de drukste tijd van het jaar omdat veel families in de hoofdstad hun inkopen komen doen voor de feestdag. De hoofdstad kondigde speciale verkeersmaatregelen af.

De eerste Tsagaan Sar markt bij het worstelstadion
De eerste Tsagaan Sar markt bij het worstelstadion

Airbnb op de Mongoolse steppe

In Mongolië is een kleine digitale revolutie aan de gang.  Nomaden melden zich steeds vaker online, bijvoorbeeld om hun ger via Airbnb aan toeristen te verhuren. Volgens de Wereldbank heeft slechts 27% van de bevolking toegang tot het net. Nomaden, ouderen en lage inkomensgroepen hebben geen toegang. Toch lijkt er iets te veranderen.

Lees het hele artikel AirBnB on the Mongolian steppe, where tech meets tourism in de Asian Review. 

Een van de gers die wordt aangeboden op AirBnB
Een van de gers die wordt aangeboden op AirBnB