Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Happy Christmas- the holiday spirit is here

Happy Christmas is what the British say, and so it is in Mongolia. Most of the English text books here are actually British. Spelling, grammar and English language here in general reflect the British influence. Though as I've said before, here Christmas is not actually celebrated, it's hard to distinguish at times because of the decorations and themes seen around this time of year.
One afternoon I ventured into the market place looking for glitter and garland. Here such places are called "black markets", though not all with the same connotation that it invokes in Americans' minds. Our market place in Arvikheer, is called a "Container market", because many of the little shops are actual "containers" that would be hauled on the back of a semi truck. Though there are some actual stores, much of the buying and selling takes place at the various containers and stands, which are located mostly outside in the elements. I know I don't have the stamina to attempt to eek out a living in the elements!
Though this day was not so cold by Mongolian standards, about 15 above zero F, it didn't stop the vendors, nor the shoppers. I found the glitter and flashy garland for the dorm kids to use in their happy new year coloring posters that I'd copied for the arts and crafts time that evening

The masks and fireworks in the upper right picture are mostly used by children at Sheen Jeel.
These little girls pictured above followed me around the market for awhile, saying hello and giggling. Perhaps one day I will tire of being stalked by the "hi monsters" as some other volunteers affectionately refer to such little ones; but I appreciate and enjoy their curiosity and friendliness. Eventually I may meet all the children in town, but considering that there are four schools, plus countless kindergartens, maybe not.

Shown above left are some of the completed happy new year signs the dorm kids made, though the amount of glitter on them is difficult to see here, there was lots and lots of it!

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