Five Skills You Can Learn in Mongolia

Every culture is unique and Mongolia's isolation has helped it keep long traditions alive and well in the 21st century. Here are five skills you might be able to learn while visiting Mongolia.

Throat Singing

Mongolian Throat Singing-Batzorig Vaanchig

Throat-singing, a guttural style of singing or chanting, is one of the world's oldest forms of music. For those who think the human voice can produce only one note at a time, the resonant harmonies of throat-singing are surprising. In throat-singing, a singer can produce two or more notes simultaneously through specialized vocalization technique taking advantage of the throat's resonance characteristics.

Brewing Mare's Milk

Ayrag (also called kumis in Kazakh) is a fermented dairy product traditionally made from mare's milk. The drink remains important to the Mongols and other people of the Central Asian steppes: Kazakhs, Bashkirs, Kalmyks, Kyrgyz, and Yakuts. The finished product contains between 0.7 and 2.5% alcohol.

Archery and Bow Crafting

Archery is as ancient as the history of Mongolia. In ancient days bows and arrows were primar­ily used for hunting animals for food, and protecting the tribe from outside threats. Over the centuries, the uses of archery changed and the tradition of archery was passed down to become one of the most important elements of the sport competitions held within the National Naadam Games.

Horsemanship

Children in Mongolia are said to learn how to ride a horse before they learn how to walk. Today, there are more horses than people in this sparsely populated steppe. Like archery, it is one of the three manly skills and was one of the main reasons Chengis Khan was able to create the largest empire in the history of mankind. Horses play a large role in the daily and national life of the Mongols; it is traditionally said that "A Mongol without a horse is like a bird without the wings.

Wrestling

Mongolian wrestling, known as Bökh (Mongolian script: ᠪᠥᠬᠡ; Mongolian Cyrillic: Бөх or Үндэсний бөх), is the folk wrestling style of Mongols in Mongolia, Inner Mongolia and other regions where touching the ground with anything other than a foot loses the match. Bökh means "durability". Wrestling is the most important of the Mongolian culture's historic "Three Manly Skills". Chenghis Khan considered wrestling to be an important way to keep his army in good physical shape and combat ready.