Thursday, September 11, 2014

Happy Naadym!

Naadym is a festival held once a year here in T-land, and this year it was pretty nearby so we got to go out and get a little bit involved.  But more on that in a bit.

First off, don't you like the above picture?  I recommend clicking on it to see it closer up. The "T camels" (there are only a couple of people who still have them) are well-known touristy photo objects here, but we had no pictures of them until recently.  We were going down the road, saw them resting nearby and Bobbie snapped this sort of artsy soft-focus picture (no photo effect added, her camera just fuzzed it out by itself for some reason) that I personally really like.

Anyway, summer life.  We take advantage of the warm weather to get outside as much as we can, which the boys usually take advantage of to get as wet/muddy as possible!  But then they come home and cuddle with their dog and look so cute it's impossible to get upset.

And then it's back outside to see who can climb the monkey bars (which, as you can see, were definitely designed with safety as the top priority) the highest.  Can you spot them almost to the top?  

Fortunately, no one has slipped and broken a wrist/ankle.  Yet.

But enough about our regular, boring lives.  This is a post about Naadym!

Once a year, people from all over T-land get together.  Historically this was a gathering of nomads for trade and other events, so everyone brings their yurts and sets them up.  I didn't get any pictures of the horse racing or wrestling but those are big features.

Of course, in the modern age someone has to haul water and run a generator for everyone to have power and such, so the government does a good job of trying to balance the desire to keep everything as traditional as possible while also allowing for modern conveniences.

It's sort of like a state fair, so there are of course booths set up to sell you anything and everything.  Our favorite was the delicious Vat of Plov seen below, made the traditional Uzbek way with a ginormous round pot and a whole bottle of oil.

This gentleman can handle all your traditional healing elixir needs, including literal snake oil.

One of my favorite thing to see was the displays from the reindeer-herder sections of T-land.  They have a bit of a different culture to the rest of T-land as their area is too wooded for sheep so they breed and raise reindeer.  Their dialect is a bit different and we don't have any close friends from this part of the state so it was interesting to see their houses.  They live in American West-style teepees, including one that was lined with reindeer skins.  Apparently it's quite warm, even in -50 degree weather.

And that's it for tonight.  The lovely Bobbie has promised to write a post very soon, so if there's not something up on here about her adventures (including preparing food for the governor!) in the next week or so drop her an email and complain. ;-)