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Modern Tsagaan Sar

By Ch.KHALIUN

Since everything changes with time, Mongolians’ attitude towards Tsagaan Sar and the way it is celebrated has changed.
In modern times, both elders and young people dress up in the Mongolian traditional garment, especially young families dress up in matching deels.
The sight of people dressed in colorful and flamboyant deels increases the Tsagaan Sar’s spirit, and shows that Mongolians place high importance to the traditional celebration.
Since ancient times, Mongolians offered blue khadag (prayer scarf) to elders to show their respect, but nowadays usually people offer banknotes or vodka during zolgolt (Tsagaan Sar greeting).
The way of preparing the feast table has been changing a lot in recent years. Households serve guests various foreign beverages such as whisky, wines and vodka. The diversity and intricacy of dishes prepared by housewives has also improved with economic growth and we can notice a diverse array of salads and snacks from year to year.
Shortly before Tsagaan Sar, traders started importing all kinds of gift items in variety of packaging, but in recent years, Mongolian domestic businesses have started making an assortment of products specifically to be given as gifts during Tsagaan Sar. In general, Mongolians have largely been supporting local producers by mainly choosing domestic products instead of buying imported gift products.
While the public attitude towards Tsagaan Sar is mainly positive, in recent years, a divide has been growing among certain generations on the celebration. Some younger and middle aged groups view Tsagaan Sar as celebration for the elderly and see it as a waste of money due to the extravagant way it has to be celebrated.
In 2011, American economist and journalist Anne Schwartz published an article about Mongolian Tsagaan Sar in the Herald Post, which peaked interests of many foreigners.
She stated, “A Mongolian household spends 280 USD to celebrate Tsagaan Sar on average, while their monthly income is 250 USD. When I was working in the U.S,, a household’s annual revenue was 32,000 USD on average, but they spend maximum 1,200 USD for widely celebrated Christmas Eve. Mongolia’s Tsagaan Sar is for sure the world’s highest spending celebration.”
UB resident Ts.Nyambilguun said, “I am working in a hotel as a manager and get paid the same amount as my peers, but I think Tsagaan Sar is rather beyond young people’s power. My friend took loans from financial organizations to celebrate Tsagaan Sar this year.”
Some folks only visit and greet with their parents and leave Ulaanbaatar to spend time with their family in resorts outside of the city, but this is a minority as not many are able to afford such extravagancies.
Many, however, still believe that Tsagaan Sar is a great opportunity to spend few days with their family members.

Short URL: http://ubpost.mongolnews.mn/?p=13499

Posted by on Feb 24 2015. Filed under Community. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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