Mongolian Naadam Festival is coming

    The Mongolian Naadam Festival, where we wish for wrestlers to be strong and their tricks to be skilled, for jockeys’ singing to be melodious and for their horses to be fast, and for archers’ arrows to be optimal, is coming.
    Modern scholars say that the Mongolian Naadam Festival began during the establishment of the Hunnu Empire, in I-II BC. At that time, the horse, wrestling and leather arrow case were considered symbols of the emergent nation. Since then, Mongolians have been celebrating the three manly games widely. And now, Mongolians are going to celebrate the 808th anniversary of the establishment of the Great Mongol Empire and the 93rd anniversary of the People’s Revolution. Mongolians, who are motivated to do things, are so optimistic and their faces are bright, perhaps anticipating Naadam. Everyone is trying to finish their work before Naadam and are so excited, like it’s going to happen tomorrow. From another angle, the governors have discussed and passed the budget for Naadam.

    The festival’s organizing committee presidents, led by the Deputy Minister, became acquainted with the organization of Central Stadium and Khui Doloon Khudag and the procedures for preparation work. This year, there are nine organizing committees for Naadam and a working group. A total of 177 people will be responsible for the 285 projects and services.

    360 million MNT to upgrade stadium seating

    The upgrading of Central Stadium to become the Olympic Complex and Khui Doloon Khudag to become the Naadam Complex has already started. The stadium was built in 1959, and since then, large-scale maintenance has not been conducted. Routine maintenance, such as painting the seats and fixing the sunshades and section roofs, is paid for from the state budget. Citizen T.Nyamdaa owns 51 percent of the stadium. He told the Deputy Minister that Stadium LLC is conducting maintenance worth 180 million MNT, and first the sections for inspection authorities, hygiene, wrestling judges, score-keepers and policemen will be repaired.
    T.Nyamdavaa offered a suggestion to the Deputy Minister to completely change the stadium’s seating. The wooden seats are close to tearing people’s elegant clothes and the seats have not been changed since the stadium’s opening. He said, “The plastic seats can be installed instead of wooden ones, and 13,000 people could be seated. Their installation would cost over 360 million MNT.” But to MP Tervishdagva, 360 million MNT seemed too high and suggested he make the budget real and discuss it in the next government meeting, but the idea could not be covered then.
    In 2008, Stadium LLC conducted maintenance worth 480 million MNT through their own funding. In recent years, the state fund has given ten to 15 million MNT to the maintainence work for the stadium. Last year, buses were free to the stadium, which was appreciated by the public, so this year it will happen again. In order to manage the traffic around the stadium, cars will be parked at the Dunjingarav Shopping Center.

    The moon shaped stadium won’t be built

    The hilltop of Khui Doloon Khudag is very green now. It has been nine years that we have hosted horseracing here, but a more comfortable and safe environment has not been established yet. However, the last three years have been better compared to previous years. In 2013, 50 billion MNT was budgeted for turning Khui Doloon Khudag into the Mongol Naadam Complex. An 8.5 kilometer road from the 361 crossing to Khui Doloon Khudag and parking for over 7,000 cars on a 20 hectare field were built, and the parking lot was made from eco-friendly pavement. A 12.5 hectare field was paved with eco-friendly pavement for walkways and a vending area.
    At the finish line, temporary seating for 3,000 people will be installed again this year. Officials will decide whether the old seats will be installed or not. Yo.Gerelchuluun, organizing committee president of Naadam stated, “Since the building of Mongol Naadam Complex work started, you can see that Khui Doloon Khudag is becoming quite different. In order to satisfy the public, we are doing so many projects. Honestly, we decided to build a moon shaped stadium to seat 8,000 people this year. Because of a lack of funding, this project has failed. But we have resolved trash and restroom issues completely this year.”
    At every 50 meters, trash bins will be available, and 31 restrooms that meet hygiene requirements will be installed. Five wells will provide water and water will be available in restrooms. The City Maintenance Company of Songinokhairkan district will work at Khui Doloon Khudag and the workers will wear uniforms with their logo and emblem. So far, five electric buses are planned to serve the public. A total of 110 million MNT is going to be spent overall, only 47 million MNT has been spent on improvements at Khui Doloon Khudag so far.
    During the organizing committee meeting, Ts.Jadambaa, head of the Information, Communications Technology and Post Authority introduced the installation of a GPS device which provides the opportunity to watch horseracing on phones and online. Due to the lack of available budget, this idea has not been approved. If racehorse trainers want it, they can attach the GPS devices to their horses.

    Naadam budget approved

    Even though seven days ago MPs said they would not exceed the budget, at the government meeting on June 7, the total cost of Naadam was approved at 2.2 billion MNT, out of which 369.9 million will be financed from the festival’s income, 500 million from the city budget, 57 million from residual income of 2013, and 1.2 million from the government’s reserved fund. Over 920 million MNT (13.1 percent) will be used for awards, 946 million for art, culture and honors activity, 494 million for maintenance, 142.5 million for emergency management, and 333.9 million for other events and organizational expenses for Naadam.
    Thirty-nine days are left until we celebrate Naadam. Herders have already begun to round up livestock. Every year during Naadam, the price of sheep goes through the roof and reaches 130,000 to 250,000 MNT. This year, herders say they will be cheap. I was interested in the price and went to Emeelt market and around the 22nd checkpoint. A one-year-old lamb is 110,000 MNT, two year old cattle is 150,000, and a fat ram is 180,000. I asked whether the price will increase or not, but the herders said that traders may raise it up to 250,000 MNT.

    Source: Unuudur