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Cultural point-Visiting a family

When entering a ger, a host guide you head to the right side of a ger and show you where to sit. If you are wearing a hat, leave it on to enter the ger.

If you have been invited to someone’s house or visiting family in the countryside, it is customary for the host to offer alcohol. It shows that you are regarded as an honored guest. It is alright for you not to drink, but you can put the point of your finger in the vodka, then respectfully touch your forehead with the same finger. Then give back the vodka using your right hand. When you give it back, you may bow your head a little and say, “Uuchlaarai bi uudaggui” I am sorry, I don’t drink.

If you drink vodka, normally the host will make you drink vodka at least three times. It is also a custom.

Mongolians are very hospitable people. If you are full or cannot eat some food, they may still offer you more saying Dahiad ideerei, dahiad uugaarai – eat and drink more. You can reply Bayarlaa, Bi tsadsan – Thank you I am full.

Mongolians eat a lot of meat. During the cold season, people usually eat mutton and horse meat, because they believe it is hot type of meat and food that kind of meat provides warmth and energy to one’s stomach, especially the food buuz and dumplings.

When you visit the Mongolian family, bring some presents for their children or grandparents. It may sound strange, but it’s part of our culture.

When you visit a Mongolian family’s home, they usually show you a family photo album and like to talk.

It maybe not interesting for you, but it’s part of culture, so smile, look at them, and ask questions.

Usually, if you take their photo, they expect you to send hard paper photos.

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