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Tsagaan Sar around the world

By B.NARANTUYA

My grandmother is nearly 70 years old and like other seniors, she starts to prepare for Tsagaan Sar very early with excitement.

When my grandmother was a young woman in socialist times when celebration of Tsagaan Sar was forbidden in relation to the ban on all religion and ethnic separation.

My grandmother, A.Nansalmaa, says, “Everyone who was a member of the Communist party had to go for inspection to stop households from celebrating Tsagaan Sar. I used to inspect households to find out whether they were celebrating TsagaanSar. Of course, it was hard to forbid people as we all have a great desire to celebrate it. Most families used to celebrate secretly in their homes.”

Even when Tsagaan Sar was forbidden, Mongolians still found a way to keep this tradition alive, which shows the significance Mongolians place on this celebration.

There are thousands of Mongolians who live and work abroad that do not get the chance to reunite with their families and celebrate TsagaanSar in the traditional way. The UB Post spoke to Mongolians who study and work abroad to find out how they celebrate Tsagaan Sar.

 

The followings are some small stories of how people who study and live in foreign countries celebrate Tsagaan Sar.

E.Khongorzul from Rostov, Russia:

The Mongolian community here celebrates Tsagaan Sar every year. After classes finish on Bituun, students gather together to prepare for the celebration. We collect money for food and cook buuz and salad by ourselves. At least 30 students come along for the celebrations and we have a great time together.

 

B.Batmunkh from South Korea:

Almost all Mongolians who live here celebrate Tsagaan Sar. The timing of Lunar New Year celebration of South Korea matches our Tsagaan Sar, so people have three days of holiday here. Since Tsagaan Sar is our traditional celebration we follow the ethnic ways for celebrating it. People wear new clothes, eat buuz and salad, and prepare ul boov, a traditional pasty, and meat during the celebration.

 

G.Otgonzaya from London, England:

It is my second year celebrating Tsagaan Sar in London. Since I stay far from my family, I meet my Mongolian friends here to celebrate it. Together we cook buuz and salad, it is very great to watch wrestling and Mongolian live programs and concerts online. Mostly we chat with our families through Skype on these days. I miss my family a lot, especially during the holidays. I always wish that I was with them. The Embassy of Mongolia to England organizes a Tsagaan Sar event on the third day of the holiday. There is a place called “Mongolian Pub” in London. Mongolians love to visit that place and enjoy eating traditional food.

 

B.Erdenebat from Montreal, Canada:

I live with my family in Montreal, Canada. Comparing to other cities in Canada, Montreal has a few Mongolians. However, the small Mongolian community here organizes an event dedicating for Tsagaan Sar. This year my family made ulboov and prepared the table as like we used to in Mongolia. On the first day of Tsagaan Sar, we went to the Mont Royal Mountain to see the sunrise and after that we went to greet the elders who live here. We had a great Tsagaan Sar.

 

G.Tselmen from Hiratsuka, Japan:

Mongolians who live here celebrate Tsagaan Sar widely, involving many people. A lot of people live in Tokyo and Osaka so they celebrate the holiday like they do in Mongolia. Almost everyone wears deel, cook buuz and salad, and bring ul boov and traditional meat from Mongolia. Every year, the Embassy of Mongolia to Japan organizes an event dedicated to Tsagaan Sar.

 

M.Munkhdulguun from Switzerland:

I have been living here for five years. Since there are a lot of Mongolians here, we celebrate most of the traditional celebrations together. Also, there are people here who sell buuz, ul boov and dairy products during Tsagaan Sar.

 

D.Buyandelger from South Dakota, USA:

On the day of Bituun, I talked to my family and relatives and greeted them through Skype. In my city, there are relatively small numbers of Mongolians compared to other cities. On the second day of Tsagaan Sar, I visited a Mongolian family here and enjoyed celebrating with them. Buuz and salad were delicious and the presents they gave me was very impressive. I had a great time.

 

E.Solongo from California, USA:

Since I came to the USA, I celebrated Tsagaan Sar every year following the tradition. Depending on the state, the celebration takes place a little bit differently. When I used to live in Minnesota, I used to celebrate Tsagaan Sar with my school friends by feasting on buuz and wearing deel. When I moved to San Francisco, it was different. There are a lot of Mongolians who live here and the celebration is given a lot of significance.

 

P.Saruul from Krakov, Poland:

This year, the Embassy of Mongolia to Poland organized a Tsagaan Sar event among Mongolians who live in Poland. The celebration was almost like the way it is held in Mongolia. People wore deel, cooked buuz, salad, ul boov and meat. This year, I visited one Mongolian family in Belgium and celebrated Bituun with them. We watched wrestling matches and enjoyed listening to Mongolian songs, which gave us a feeling that we were in our home country.

 

G.Nyamjargal from Taipei, Taiwan:

When people stay abroad, they get to know more about the values of their home country as well as traditional celebrations. Everyone who lives here celebrates Tsagaan Sar. This year, Mongolians gathered together on the day of Bituun and celebrated the holiday by enjoying traditional food and warm talks. On the first day of Tsagaan Sar, people greet with elders here. When people wear deel during Tsagaan Sar here, it gives me a very warm feeling.

 

Short URL: http://ubpost.mongolnews.mn/?p=13495

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