“The sky is deep blue, the open country is boundless.
As the wind blows the grass low, cattle and sheep appear.”
These two lines from a classic Chinese poem written over 1,500 years ago are an enduring illustration of the Mongolian plains. The people who live in this open grassland are known for their closeness to nature, lively song and dance, and peerless archery and horsemanship skills.
The Mongolian people traditionally live in yurts, similar to the teepees of the Native Americans. Accompanying these temporary abodes is an unfettered nomadic lifestyle of herding and hunting on the expansive plains.
It is on these grasslands that, every year, Mongolians hold a midsummer festival known as the Nadaam. Wrestling, horse riding, and archery competitions, singing and dancing are all part of this tradition, a display of friendship between tribes and a prayer for a prosperous year.