Today was the Mongolian Kindergarten day and my 16th birthday! Two very exciting things packed into one day. In the morning, we headed to the Mongolian kindergarten. The drive was short and was just through the city of Hohhot. When we arrived at the kindergarten, we were draped in the traditional blue Mongolian scarves, called Hada. We were then ushered into the beautiful building. Once inside the building, we were greeted by some of the teachers of the school and one teacher took us on a tour.
What I found very interesting on the tour was that the walls of the kindergarten were covered in traditional pieces of Mongolian culture. Many had pieces of traditional Mongolian art on them, including one painting on an animal hide and one wall had pieces of a Yurt. There was also a section on the third floor just dedicated to traditional clothing and jewelry. The kindergarten is trying to preserve the traditions of Inner Mongolia for the future generations.
Inner Mongolia is part of China and Mongolian language and culture is starting to fade in the area. More people are speaking Mandarin instead of Mongolian, and adapting more into the Chinese culture. I think its amazing that the kindergarten is preserving Mongolian culture and educating the young generation on it.
On the tour we were also brought into two classrooms and were able to interact with the students. The first classroom we visited was full of three-year-olds. Some of them were very into interacting with us, and some were not. They were all adorable and it was fun to watch them play. The second classroom was older children, I believe they were mostly five-years-olds. I was able to color with two very cute girls. They were shy at first, but began to warm up to us. Than I got the most amazing surprise I’ve ever received. The entire room of kindergartners and teachers started singing me Happy Birthday in Mongolian ( which is a beautiful language) and then in English. It was beautiful and filled my heart with happiness. The rest of our time spent with the kindergarten was our performances. The kindergartners performed traditional Mongolian dances for us and it was the cutest thing I’ve ever seen in my entire life.
Earlier in the day we had been surprised to find out that we were able to get into a Mongolian rock concert. The group performing was called the Anda Union and Ms. R and Kevin had seen them before and assured us they were great. And let me tell you, they were amazing! The performance included traditional Mongolian songs, throat singing and traditional instruments. It was a completely captivating show and I personally loved it. All the songs were beautiful and were composed of so many different elements. It was a wonderful way to end the most amazing birthday I’ve ever had.