CPSI NewsWire brings you market updates on Mongolia, compiled by CPS International, a Mongolian marketing arm of CPS Securities, a Perth, Western Australia based stockbroking and corporate advisory firm, specialising in capital raising for mining and junior stocks.
SECURITIES TRADED SUCCESSFULLY ON THE 4TH DAY
July 5 (MSE) The Mongolian Stock Exchange saw increased activity today with the number of Brokers participating in the trading increasing to 8. Market turnover stood at MNT 4,634,420.
The T+ 3 settlement cycle was successfully completed with Monday’s trades being settled by 12 noon today.
Brokers continue to work with the Clearing Banks to open their settlement account which is a pre requisite for trading under the new regulations.
The new regulations are designed to meet the international standard of T+3 settlement and the Mongolian Stock exchange opted to comply with the International Standard in order to attract foreign investment and to improve market liquidity.
We are confident that the measures adopted by the Exchange to develop the Mongolian Capital market are being well received and wish all of our members the very best.
Black Ridge Decides Not To Purse Mongolia Rare Earths Project, Considering Legal Actions
July 5 -- Black Ridge Mining NL (ASX:BRD) (Black Ridge or the Company) wishes to announce that the results of the due diligence conducted on the Avdrant Rare Earths project in Mongolia do not support continued development of this project and, accordingly, the Company will not be proceeding.
The Company has been unable to replicate and verify the results and grades as presented to it when the project was introduced and is considering its legal options in reaching a satisfactory conclusion to this project.
The Company will continue to keep the Market informed and a further announcement will be made in due course.
Enkh-Amgalan Luvsantseren Resigns, Od Jambaljamts Appointed to Board of MMC
July 5, Mongolian Mining Corporation (HK:975) --
RESIGNATION OF NON-EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
The board (the “Board”) of directors (the “Directors”) of Mongolian Mining Corporation (the “Company”) announces that Mr. Enkh-Amgalan Luvsantseren (“Mr. Luvsantseren”) has resigned from his position as non-executive Director with effect from 4 July 2012 to resume his duties as vice president of MCS Holding LLC (together with its subsidiaries the “MCS Group”), an associate of MCS Mining Group Limited (a substantial shareholder of the Company), and director of a number of subsidiaries within the MCS Group.
Mr. Luvsantseren has confirmed that he has no disagreement with the Board and he is not aware of any matters in connection with his resignation that needs to be brought to the attention of the shareholders of the Company.
The Board would like to take this opportunity to thank Mr. Luvsantseren for his efforts and valuable contributions to the Company during his tenure of office and wishes him success in his future endeavours.
APPOINTMENT OF NEW NON-EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
The Board is also pleased to announce the appointment of Mr. Od Jambaljamts (“Mr. Jambaljamts”) as a non-executive Director with effect from 4 July 2012.
Mr. Jambaljamts, aged 48, is the president of MCS Group and a director of a number of subsidiaries within the MCS Group. Mr. Jambaljamts also works in the Royal Danish Consul in Mongolia, a member of the National Consul of the Pacific Economic Council, and is a board member of the Osazawa Foundation. Mr. Jambaljamts was awarded a bachelor’s degree in International Relations at the Institute for International Relations, Moscow, Russia in 1988 and master’s degree in arts majoring in foreign affairs from the University of Oxford, United Kingdom in 1993. Mr. Jambaljamts was awarded the Honorary Labour Medal of Mongolia in 1997, and twice awarded with the Polestar medal of Mongolia. Mr. Jambaljamts does not hold and has not held any directorships in other public companies which are listed in Hong Kong or overseas in the preceding three years prior to the date of this announcement, and save as disclosed above, he does not have other major appointments and professional qualifications.
Mr. Jambaljamts has over 20 years of experience in both private and public sector. Mr. Jambaljamts has extensive experience in working with companies in diversity of fields.
Mr. Jambaljamts is the brother of Mr. Odjargal Jambaljamts, the chairman of the Company, an executive Director and the controlling shareholder of the Company. Mr. Jambaljamts is the controlling shareholder of MCS (Mongolia) Limited, which in turn is the controlling shareholding company of MCS Mining Group Limited. Save as disclosed above, Mr. Jambaljamts does not have any relationship with any Directors, senior management or substantial shareholders or controlling shareholders of the Company and does not hold any other positions with the Company or any of its subsidiaries.
As at the date of this announcement, Mr. Jambaljamts is deemed to be interested in 1,345,763,949 Shares, representing approximately 36.32% of the issued share capital of the Company within the meaning of Part XV of the Securities and Futures Ordinance (Chapter 571 of the Laws of Hong Kong). 106,304,907 Shares, representing approximately 2.87% of the issued share capital of the Company are held by Trimunkh Limited, a company wholly owned by Mr. Jambaljamts and 1,239,459,042 Shares, representing approximately 33.45% of the issued share capital of the Company are held by MCS Mining Group Limited which is 100% owned by MCS (Mongolia) Limited, the controlling Shareholder.
Mr. Jambaljamts has entered into a service contract with the Company for a term of two years commencing on 4 July 2012. The director’s remuneration of Mr. Jambaljamts is US$18,000 per annum which is determined with reference to his qualifications, experience and duties and responsibilities in the Company and the market conditions. He will be subject to retirement by rotation and re-election at the general meeting in accordance with the articles of association of the Company.
Save as disclosed above, there are no other matters relating to the appointment of Mr. Jambaljamts as a non-executive Director that need to be brought to the attention of the shareholders of the Company and there is no other information which shall be disclosed pursuant to Rule 13.51(2)(h) to (v) of the Rules Governing the Listing of Securities on The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited.
The Board wishes to express its warm welcome to Mr. Jambaljamts on his appointment as the nonexecutive Director.
LIST OF DIRECTORS AND THEIR ROLE AND FUNCTION – MMC, July 5
Mongolia’s task: avoid Nigerian resource curse
By Martin Hutchinson. The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.
July 4 (Reuters Opinion) In much of the developing world, natural resources seem to offer a handy way out of poverty. But they also present a curse. Mongolia, where the center-right Democratic Party led last week’s elections on a wave of resource nationalism, would be wise to avoid the mistakes of Nigeria and other nations. Government and private fingers can get sticky, the bonanza wasted and non-resource activity burdened and disincentivized.
Mongolia is the world’s newest member of the commodity boom. The country wedged between Russia and China has enjoyed spectacular growth in GDP – close to 17 percent in the first quarter from a year earlier – largely on the back of exploration and construction related to its massive Oyu Tolgoi gold and copper mining project. From August, Oyu Tolgoi will begin producing revenue, and from 2013 it will turn into a massive cash generator with relatively low employment.
Nigeria’s sad example shows what can go wrong when such newfound wealth is misallocated. Current estimates are that more than $1 billion of oil per month is stolen from the Niger Delta fields and corruption remains endemic even under well-meaning President Goodluck Jonathan. Nigeria ranks 133rd on the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Index and 143rd on Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index. True, high oil prices reversed 40 years of decline in living standards through 2000. And while GDP growth is slowing, it’s still expected to run at 6 percent to 7 percent this year. But with inflation in double digits and government expenditure budgeted to exceed revenue by 31 percent in 2012, Nigeria’s situation is unstable.
Mongolia’s election was fought on the issue of resource nationalism, with the Mongolian People’s Party wanting to renegotiate the foreign investment agreements covering Oyu Tolgoi and other mines and increase the cash handouts of around $16 per month to Mongolia’s people. The Mongolian People’s Revolutionary Party opposed foreign mining investment altogether. The Democratic Party’s slim lead is good news for foreign resource companies, but development problems remain.
Once Oyu Tolgoi comes on stream, state revenue will increase, even as the employment boom subsides. However, as in Nigeria, that will lead to greater opportunities for wasteful spending and corruption. Mongolians will only benefit if the government ensures its fiscal stabilization fund – built up from excess revenue – is inviolable for the long term and promotes a culture that rewards private thrift and legitimate business formation.
DBM Deputy CEO: Creating a happy society with jobs and education is the duty of the Development Bank
July 5 (Mongolian Economy) The Development Bank is the key to sustainable development. Thus, this ticket must be guarded with care. If that ticket becomes invalid, then huge risks await. Luvsandorj Bolormaa is the First Deputy CEO of the Development Bank of Mongolia. She has been working in the banking sector for the last 15 years. Prior to her position at the Development bank, she acted as Vice President of Deutsche Bank responsible for North-American banks, broker dealers and finance companies in New York.
When she was appointed as the First Deputy CEO of the Development Bank, many discouraged her, saying that she could not handle such a tough job. But now Mongolia has a Development Bank that is globally recognized. It has been a year since Mongolia’s Development Bank made a home on the global market. Bolormaa has formed a team with 40 young active and creative members. Her knowledge, experience and sensitive mind has determined the goals and aims of the Development Bank. With only six personnel, the Development Bank opened its door last year. Now the organization has become a big family.
-It has been a year since the Development Bank was established. What achievements have been made so for?
-The Development Bank has gathered necessary financial resources for Mongolia. With these resources we aim to implement large development projects. Last year we raised our funds through issuance of 5 year bonds with 5.75 percent interest in international markets. This opens an opportunity for Mongolia to raise funds internationally like any other emerging market countries and if domestic macroeconomic and state budget policies remain prudent we will be able to raise long-term funding through issuance of 10, 15, 20 year bonds.
Our bank has successfully raised funds despite such turbulent times in the financial markets and these resources allowed us to implement important economic projects. We approved MNT 415.6 billion for 7 rural area roads of total 662 kilometres and MNT 98.6 billion for 13 roads in the Ulaanbaatar city. The contracted companies have started their construction work. Also, we approved design works for the construction of around 3,300 kilometres of roads in rural areas. The Development Bank is financing the first three phases of the Buyant-Ukhaa 2,000 Housing project, which is to be developed by the Housing Finance Corporation.
We also provided MNT 50 billion for the State bank for 6% mortgage program for low and middle income families. At present, we are working to approve MNT 50 billion for the Small-medium Enterprises Fund that will help to create new jobs in rural area. Going forward, we will finance road and railroad projects, processing plants in Sainshand industrial park and other strategic projects once feasibility studies and tender processes complete. Creating a happy society with jobs and education is the duty of the Development Bank. With its purpose to establish an independent and diversified economy, the bank aims to support strategically important sectors, thus creating new jobs.
-What are some of the successes the bank made this year?
-As the main financing body for the strategic projects in Mongolia, the Development Bank needs to develop its relations with foreign investors, banks, financial organizations as well as project companies. Cooperation agreements and memorandums were signed with the leading organizations, banks and development funds, such as the Japan's Sumimoto Mitsui Banking Corporation, the Development Bank of China, and the US Exim and China Exim banks.
Behind each signature on the agreements are plans and priorities. For example, under cooperation agreement with the Japanese bank we intend to bring high technologies for Sainshand processing plants. Recently we approved a loan for MIAT to purchase 2 Boeing airplanes, which is will be financed further by US Exim bank. Currently we received a project to develop the ger districts of Ulaanbaatar with the help of energy saving technology from America.
-Does the bank independence sometimes is challenged?
-Our main policy is to keep our independence. The Development Bank’s contribution to the economic development will be significant if its independence is kept intact. As a financial organization, the risks are carefully measured and controlled in order to maintain its long term stability. Financing revenue generating good projects will improve the bank’s financial capacity and as a result diversify domestic economy that will lead to sustainable development.
In addition to legalizing the bank’s independence through law, the bank should sign a contract with the Government and Ministry of Finance every year, strengthening its independence. The Development Bank is the key to a sustainable development. Thus, the ticket must be guarded with care. If that ticket becomes invalid, then the country will face huge risks.
-What is your opinion on corporate governance? Are there any good examples of corporate governance in Mongolia.
-The Development Bank was finally established after many years of discussion. Thus, we strive to create a strong viable bank with good governance, prudent management and sustainable operations. If any Development Bank is in a risk of default it will be viewed as a sovereign risk and the country will be perceived as at risk. Thus, the Ministry of Finance, the Bank of Mongolia and the government have to support the Development Bank with comprehensive and targeted policy. If each organization carries policies that are contradictory, which hinder economic and financial stability the country could be at risk. As a result our economic development could be delayed further.
Development banks in Germany, South Korea and in China have managed to develop their country due to this comprehensive policy support. Good corporate governance is the secret ingredient. For our bank to develop such corporate governance we need long term financial strategy of the country. Mongolia needs a medium-term economic policy that is not constantly revised, amended as we have now. Many resolutions targeted at our bank get delayed or changed frequently and deficiencies in our law create challenges for bank’s stable operation. Furthermore, ability for the bank to choose its own projects to finance may hinder our operations if not implemented in the short term. In other countries, the government defines strategic sectors for their development bank to finance and then the bank independently chooses projects it will invest in. That allows the organization to be become the main driver behind the economy growth.
-Do you feel politics interfere with the Development Bank’s business?
-If we look into other developed countries there is very little politicization. Singapore and Switzerland are great examples of this. Although political parties may have their differences in their development policies, when it comes to ministries or agencies that are responsible for the implementation of these policies politicization disappears. But in Mongolia, involvement from political parties in the implementation ministries and agencies slow down the economic development.
Of course, the elected party should hold on to its economic policy. However, for implementation and enforcement of these policies, they should leave it to the professionals. In turn, the government can request responsibilities and professionalism from public servants. Political involvement won’t solve everything. People need to be educated before politics get involved. We need professionals in every level of the society. A country will develop only when its youth strives for knowledge and education to a better future.
-Your contract with the Development Bank is nearing its end. What would you say your biggest achievement was?
-It was not an easy job to put the bank on its feet. I, personally think that we have managed to create a good bank and we have achieved a lot in such a short time. But the biggest achievement is that we created together a team, one family that is united by a single goal of helping and contributing to the development of our country. That is the biggest success.
HILLARY CLINTON AND GLOBAL WOMEN LEADERS TO ATTEND COMMUNITY OF DEMOCRACIES MEETING IN MONGOLIA
July 5 (InfoMongolia) Mongolia has been chairing the Community of Democracies since received it’s the two-year Presidency officially from July 01, 2011. The Governing Council meeting of the Community of Democracies is to be hosted in Ulaanbaatar on July 08-09, 2012.
The President of the Indian National Congress Party, Mrs. Sonya Gandhi, the United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and 18 other world widely well-known women leaders are invited to attend the meeting. But the President of the Indian National Congress Party, Mrs. Sonya Gandhi had officially informed that she could not make it to the meeting due to the close coming Parliamentary election in India, where the United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will arrive in Mongolia on the second day of the meeting on July 09, 2012. During her visit Hillary Clinton will hold a meeting with the President of Mongolia Ts.Elbegdorj and the Prime Minister of Mongolia S.Batbold. According to the advisor to the organizing committee of the meeting D.Gansukh, the first female Prime Minister of Canada Kim Campbell and the Former President of the Kyrgyz Republic Roza Otunbayeva have sent their approval for their participation in the meeting. Open discussions under a theme “Women’s role in the sustainable economic development and the energy safety” and “Women’s politics, increasing civilian participation” will be held within the frames of the meeting.
General Election Commission Submits 72 New MPs to President for Approval
July 5 (news.mn) The General Election commission (GEC) submitted results of June 28 parliamentary election to the President of Mongolia Tsakhia Elbegdorj. GEC submitted 72 names from 76 for approval. As informed before in two district will be re-vote for third candidate. Candidates who won seats in the Bayanzurkh and Songinokhairkhan districts did not reach the minimum 28 percent required by Election law. Each district will decide when and how to conduct a rerun and the Bayanzurkh district scheduled re-vote on Sunday, July 8. But GEC preferred to rerun after Naadam celebration because of voters attendance.
Another two candidates in Uvurkhangai province-S.Chinzorig and N.Tumurkhuu not confirmed because GEC have received a document where those candidates from MPP violated the Election law. They distributed alcohol and sweets to voters.
By the submitted results Democratic Party has 31, MPP 25, Civil Will-Green Party 2 and “Justice” coalition 11 seats and three independent candidates.
“I think GEC submitted 72 names regarding the law. This election results was mongolian’s will. Newly elected members of the parliament have to take oath as soon as possible. I have met political parties leaders yesterday. I’m going to issue declare on first session of the new parliament” said Tsakhia Elbegdorj, President of Mongolia.
NEW MPS TO HOLD FIRST PARLIAMENTARY SESSION ON FRIDAY
Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, July 5 /MONTSAME/ The President Ts.Elbegdorj issued on Thursday his decree to hold the first parliamentary session at 10.00 am on Friday with newly elected parliamentarians.
The decree was made in accordance with the Constitution of Mongolia, the laws on the State Great Khural (parliament) of Mongolia and the President of Mongolia. For the time being, 72 parliamentarians have been officially revealed, and they will take their oaths on Friday.
MPP group refused to attend in closing session
July 5 (news.mn) The President of Mongolia Tsakhia Elbegdorj ordered to held first session of the new parliament tomorrow morning at 10 am. President noticed during the meeting when the General Election Commission submitted election results today that importance of to confirm election results and start new parliament activities and to form of new government as soon as possible.
To call a first session of the new parliament previous parliament have to finish. Today closing session of previous parliament scheduled at 12 am than scheduled again at 3 pm. The MPP group in the parliament refused to attend at closing session demanding to submit election result in Uvurkhangai province where two candidates from MPP took a majority vote. “Our two candidates has got a majority vote in Uvurkhangai. Even they have received temporary ID of elected MP. We not agree that the General Election commission didn’t submitted results of Uvurkhangai. We demanding to sumbit result otherwise impossible to attend session” said U.Enkhtuvshin, head of MPP group in the parliament after MPP’s meeting which held afternoon.
President of Mongolia Tsakhia Elbegdorj issued a degree on first session of newly elected parliament tomorrow morning, on Friday at 10 am. It is unclear that new parliament will take oath tomorrow.
28 MPs Elected by Party List Receives Temporary Certificates
July 5 (InfoMongolia) The General Election Commission of Mongolia has released a decision on the allotment of the 28 party listed seats at the State Great Khural (Parliament) and handed their temporary membership certificates on July 04, 2012.
Accordingly, 28 candidates were nominated through the party listing by Proportional System of the 2012 Parliamentary Elections, as cited in the newly submitted Election Law of Mongolia. The following 28 candidates out of 76 are admitted to be the new members of the State Great Khural (Parliament) of Mongolia who received their temporary membership certificates:
Mongolian People’s Party
1. Sukhbaatar BATBOLD, Leader of MPP, Prime Minister of Mongolia
2. Ukhnaa KHURELSUKH, Secretary General of MPP
3. Damdin DEMBEREL, State Great Khural (Parliament) of Mongolia
4. Ulziisaikhan ENKHTUVSHIN, Member of the Parliament, Head of the MPP Group in the Parliament
5. Danzaa LUNDEEJANTSAN, Member of the Parliament
6. Tsend NYAMDORJ, Member of the Parliament, Minister for Justice and Home Affairs
7. Nyamaa ENKHBOLD, Member of the Parliament, Deputy Speaker of the Parliament
8. Yangu SODBAATAR, Secretary of MPP
9. Jadamba ENKHBAYAR, Member of the Parliament, Minister for Defense
10. Norov ALTANKHUYAG, Leader of DP, Member of the Parliament
11. Zandaakhuu ENKHBOLD, Member of the Parliament
12. Khishigdemberel TEMUUJIN, Member of the Parliament
13. Chimed SAIKHANBILEG, Member of the Parliament
14. Dondogdorj ERDENEBAT, Secretary General of DP
15. Sharavdorj TUVDENDORJ, Head of DP of Ulaanbaatar City
16. Radnaa BURMAA, Head of Voter's Education Center
17. Tsevelmaa BAYARSAIKHAN, Member of the Parliament
18. Radnaasumberel GONCHIGDORJ, Member of the Parliament
19. Migeddorj BATCHIMEG, Adviser to the President of Mongolia
“Justice” Coalition from MPRP-MNDP
20. Chultem ULAAN, Member of the Parliament
21. Namdag BATTSEREG, Secretary General of Mongolian National Democratic Party (MNDP)
22. Mishig SONOMPIL, President of "Zaluu Mongol" Corporation
23. Zangad BAYANSELENGE, Head of 1000 division of MPRP of Chingeltei district
24. Oktaybri BAASANKHUU, Head of "Delgerengui Khuuli" NGO
25. Tserendash TSOLMON, Head of the Policy Committee of MNDP
26. Tserendash OYUNBAATAR, Head of the United Union of Non-Party Citizens
Civil Will-Green Party
27. Sanjaasuren OYUN, Member of the Parliament
28. Sambuu DEMBEREL, Chairman of the Mongolian National Chamber of Commerce and Industry
TENDER ANNOUNCED TO CONNECT REMOTE AREAS TO INTERNET
Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, July 5 /MONTSAME/ The Information Communication Technology and Post Authority has announced a tender to install system of wireless and stationary wide band network, thus provide internet service access in remote soums and centers of provinces.
Participants in tender will send their materials in written and sealed form. Each complex will be sold by 100 thousand togrog or equal foreign convertible currency with non-repayment conditions.
The tender shall be delivered to the Policy Implementation and Regulatory Department of the Information Communication Technology and Post Authority before 11.00 am on August 2.
Mongolia to South Carolina: A global teaching partnership
July 5 (The State) Four Mongolian educators cheerfully weathered a Midlands and South Carolina heat wave to learn new strategies for teacher training.
Along the way they also tallied a couple of personal “firsts,” including their first dip in the Atlantic Ocean, their first glimpse of zoo animals, and their first sip of sweet tea.
The four — Enkhtsetseg, Odgerel, Amartuvshin, and Ganbold (Mongolians traditionally go by their first names) — return to their native country today after a two-week cultural exchange with Columbia College, armed with teaching strategies to deploy in a country that has clung to traditional learning methods such as lecture and memorization.
“We learned how to make (different) classroom arrangements,” said Odgerel, the director of the education studies and methodology department at the Teacher’s School of the Mongolian State University. “In our country, we focus on content. Now we will also look at divergent learning.”
A university in Mongolia may seem an unlikely partner with Columbia College, the small United Methodist women’s college situated on a leafy campus in north Columbia.
But Columbia College education professor Lynne Noble opened the door to a five-year partnership when she was awarded a Fulbright scholarship in 2011. She embarked on a six-month international education adventure to the country bordered by China and Russia, not knowing the language and not quite knowing what to expect.
When she makes presentations, she said, “I get three questions, ‘Why Mongolia?’ ‘Where is Mongolia?’ and “Did you choose that or did they make you go,’” Noble laughed Tuesday. It turns out Mongolia proved to be an exotic destination and a most hospitable place to share her passion for early childhood education.
Noble has connected professors at Columbia College with professors at the Mongolian State University, who now share information over the internet and Skype. Several Columbia College students have completed their student teaching in the American school in the capitol of Ulaanbaatar.
Former Columbia College President Caroline Whitson came for a visit and Noble is working to persuade the college’s new president, Elizabeth A. “Beth” Dinndorf, to make a trip as well.
“October is a great time,” Noble told Dinndorf, who officially began her duties July 1.
Noble said the four educators visited the Columbia Museum of Art, the Richland County Public Library and other organizations to help them learn how to tap into community resources to enhance learning.
After watching a children’s art class at the museum, Amartuvshin said, “Maybe we can start that.”
Traditionally, museums in Mongolia focus on Mongolian culture, including its nomadic traditions, and the educators began to envision how partnerships could enhance children’s understanding about their own country and history.
The four, who leave for their 27-hour flight home today, said they plan to make presentations to fellow instructors and administrators when they return. But they also will carry with them the friendships they’ve made here, and more importantly, convey their impressions of their time here in one-word exclamations: “Amazing.” “Fantastic.” “Wonderful.”
Mogi: this lady truly knows her ger politics “in and out”
The ins and outs of visiting a Mongolian ger
June 30 (Wanderlust) Antonia Bolingbroke-Kent spent years educating smelly Mongol Rallyers on Mongolian etiquette. Here she reveals how to visit a Mongolian ger (yurt) without offending your hosts
If you’re lucky enough to be packing your bags for Mongolia this summer, the likelihood is you’ll be spending a night or three in a ger, the traditional felt tents of the nation’s nomads. Ah, the magic of sleeping in one of these fabulous constructions, the bittersweet taste of Airag (fermented mare’s milk), the sight of a million glittering stars peering through the ger roof.
But beware! While Mongolians are legendarily hospitable, they are also extremely superstitious, and life in the ger is bound in a complex web of beliefs and traditions. So you don’t offend your hosts or the Gods, here are few pointers as to how to successfully navigate your first ger experience.
· When you first approach the ger, call out "Nokhoi khor" which literally means, "Hold the dog". This is the Mongolian equivalent of knocking on the door, and will save you being savaged by the resident guard dog.
· Go to the left hand side of a ger when you enter; the right hand side is the domain of the family.
· Be respectful – don't take photos without asking, don't touch things in the ger and don't have long conversations in a language your hosts can't understand.
· The first thing that will happen is you’ll be offered food and drink, most likely dairy products (dried curds), salty tea or airag. As gastronomically unfamiliar as this may be to you, never refuse. Even if you touch the tea to your lips and take a tiny bite of the curds, do try something as flatly refusing will cause your hosts offence.
· If you are male, you may well be offered the snuff box by your host. If you want some, empty a little bit onto your hand and inhale. Even if you don’t want the snuff, just say yes and go through the actions of taking and inhaling some. Occasionally, the snuffbox may be empty. In this case, pretend there is some and again, go through the motions of taking some and look appreciative. Snuff boxes are carried by almost all Mongolian males in the countryside.
· Every ger will have an altar at the back. Don’t sit with your back or feet towards it.
· If you have sleeves, keep them rolled down so as not to expose your wrists, particularly when shaking hands or taking food or drink. If you have short sleeves, pretend to pull them down as a symbol of respect.
· Always accept food or drink with your right hand (or with both if the dish or cup is heavy), with the left hand supporting the right elbow.
· Take off your gloves when shaking hands.
· Sit cross-legged with your feet underneath you.
· Leave a small gift, other than money, for your hosts.
· If you accidentally kick a Mongolian’s feet, immediately shake their hand. This is not refined to gers – you should do this even if you are walking down the street in Ulaanbaatar.
· When offered some vodka, dip the ring finger of your right hand into the glass, and lightly flick a drop (not too much – vodka is also sacred) once towards the sky (for Tengri, the god of the sky), once in the air (to the wind), and once to the ground, for Gadzer, god of the earth. If you don't want any vodka, go through the customs anyway, put the same finger to your forehead, say thanks, and return the glass to the table.
· Don’t lean against a support column or wall of the ger as they represent stability. You might also confuse a column for the stove pipe, which will burn you terribly if you lean on it.
· Don’t whistle inside a ger.
· Don’t stand on or lean over the ger threshold.
· Fire is sacred to Mongolians so don’t throw rubbish or water on it.
· It’s disrespectful to walk in front of an older person, so try and avoid doing this.
· Neither touch other people’s hats nor leave your hat on the floor.
· Every family will have an urga, a long wooden lasso pole. It’s very bad luck to walk over one of these when they are lying on the ground.
· Milk is also sacred to the Mongols, so endeavour not to spill any.
· Don’t touch people (including children) on the head or hold their shoulder, it’s believed to take away that person’s good luck.
· However, if you do spill milk, walk over an urga and pat the children on the head, your hosts will understand you’re foreign and won’t throw you out in disgust. But a little perceived effort to respect the nomad’s customs will get you a long way and make for an even more fabulous stay on the steppe.
"Mogi" Munkhdul Badral
Senior Client Manager / Executive Director
CPS International LLC
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