Junior Wrestling

One sport that I’ve really taken a liking to while out here in Mongolia has been wrestling. During Naadam, the wrestling matches would go on all day, and you could see all manner of wrestler come into the ring: Seasoned veterans, short and scrappy newcomers, the joke entries, tall, thin, fat, and short alike. While […]

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Universe Best Song

With many shows like (Insert nation) Idol, X-Factor, and (Insert Nation)’s Got Talent, it’s no surprise that Mongolia has its own unique take on the talent competition. I think it’s rather interesting, and a wonderful idea: Universe Best Song. The premise of the show is simple: You must sing a song in a foreign language. […]

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Three Points

Hot and cramped, stuck with a squeaky leather jacket and a wobbly table under the weight of a husky and haughty brute. He proves more capable than anyone could imagine that day. I stare at the lines on the page, wondering how this word could not possibly mean what I thought it did. My neck […]

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The Olympics

The most important, all-consuming academic competition I’ve ever seen devised is alive here in Mongolia: The Olympics (or Olympiad, as it is commonly referred to as). They are subject and grade-based: Chemistry, Math, Mongolian, Russian, English, and more all get their own test. Up until this year, there were national Olympics for 11th, 9th, and […]

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Academic Competitions

Teachers do a lot in Mongolia, there’s no doubt about that. In addition to the paperwork, lesson planning, and classroom instruction, teachers are expected to take part in various competitions. Victory can mean great prestige and rewards from your school, while defeat can raise questions about your effectiveness on the job. In the fall, there […]

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Sports Competitions

Competitions are serious business here in Mongolia. Teachers take off days, sometimes weeks, to compete in a plethora of competitions. Today, let’s talk about the sport variety. For some reason, October seems to be packed with competitions. While I cannot discern if there is an official competition season (aside form the Olympic tests in March/April), […]

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