Arizona Veterans Memorials

For Veterans Day this year, I decided to go out and visit some of the unique Veterans Memorials around Arizona. It’s a time to honor those who served in the US Armed Forces, and having so many family members myself in the military, I decided to join in the celebrations here in Arizona.

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Dia De Los Muertos Festival

This year, being busy Halloween weekend, I wanted to check out Phoenix’s Dia De Los Muertos Festival. It’s part of my cultural heritage that I never really did much with growing up nor as an adult up until this point and I wanted to change that. From the description of the festival on their website, […]

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Indigenous People’s Day

There is a very large Native American presence here in Arizona, so it was no surprise to hear that Phoenix is the largest US city that observes Indigenous People’s Day in place of Columbus Day (this year, October 10th), which was first celebrated in Colorado in 1909. There has been a popular movement in recent […]

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Thanksgiving in Mongolia

This year for thanksgiving, I did two different activities: Turkeys with my teachers and chicken with fellow volunteers. I was talking to Halee, another volunteer in Hentii aimag, when she mentioned making hand turkeys with her speaking club. For the uninitiated, a hand turkey is when you trace your hand on a sheet of paper […]

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First Day of School

September first is a national holiday in Mongolia: It commemorates the first day of school for children across the nation. Everyone gets dressed up, comes to school with their parents, and meets their teachers in order to usher in the new academic year. If it falls on the weekend, everyone still meets. This year, it […]

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Children’s Day

The first of June is traditionally Children’s Day in Mongolia. The holiday is known formally as Mother and Children’s Day, but since there is already a big day dedicated to women, most– if not all– of the focus is on the kids. They get to run around, play, and spend time with their families eating […]

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International Women’s Day

Did you know? It happened this past Friday, and it’s a national holiday in Mongolia, meaning that schools are closed and government workers get the day off. How you celebrate International Women’s Day differs from region to region, even from home to home. Most schools have concerts or parties to celebrate women’s day. My school […]

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Tsagaan Sar

“Tsagaan Sar is like Halloween and Thanksgiving – except when you go trick-or-treating, instead of candy, you get Thanksgiving dinner at each house.” -Andrew (Fellow Peace Corps Mongolia Volunteer) To celebrate the lunar new year, Mongolians take three (or many, many more) days to visit relative’s houses. At each house, you are fed buuz, the […]

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Managing Expectations

Teacher’s Day is a particularly popular holiday for teachers. It usually includes a multitude of events culminating in a large party where teachers gather together to celebrate their hard work. One of the events leading up to the big celebration is a day when 11th grade students take over teaching responsibilities for teachers. In my […]

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Happy Birthday, Chinggis Khaan

First, there is something to be noted about the man’s name. Many of us in the West know him as Genghis, while he is most assuredly Chinggis in his homeland. Why? Well, you have to look back at the chroniclers of his life to understand why. Rashid-al-Din wrote an important history collection called Chronicles, and […]

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