Out bright and early on an overcast day . Off on our trusty brocaded wheeled steed to the National Stadium. Built in 1953 to hold 15000 on Nadaam Opening Day tickets for 20,000 are sold at 25$ ea . Some temporary seating goes in but we had covered stand tickets along with about 500 other foreigners.
Seats are very very close together you have knees in your back but we were in a good spot. View down the stadium. Parade started at 10.30 and the opening ceremony at 11 am. Then a performance that went on for two hours think Olympic Opening Ceremony with dancers, costumes and loud music towards the end Korean Pop which is v popular.
The performance told the story of the development of Mongolia from 1 BC to the present day, an epic and done very well. On the running track endless parades if horses, camels( did you know they waggle thier humps when annoyed?), reluctant bullocks pulling carts, soldiers, gymnasts on skegways!!!! It was all there…
The President, small man, brown traditional costume and black hat spoke lengthily…
Many locals were in traditional dress, women a cross between a cheongsam and a belted robe and the men in long sleeved tunics sometimes with a jacket over the top with one side tucked under the arm to enable them to hold a bow apparently. Ornate belts, tight pants and yummy boots, topped off with a bog standard brimmed hat.
Performance o er we went locally for lunch, pushing and shoving thru 20k people then back to the stadium to watch the mens wrestling- lots of pushing and shoving not much throwing, heats go on for three days. Then over to a knuckle bone throwing competition, very serious, aim is to knock the bone off its base from 15 m with another piece of bone. Then the archery, 75 m for men 65 for women. Looked great with some spectacular whatever archers call their shots.
Then more cashmere buying , dinner and bed. Great day