Singing which also known as Throat Singing, allows the singer to produce harmonic tones that can mirror the sounds of waterfalls, the steppe winds blowing, and the chants of Buddhist monks. Khoomi singers use their diaphragms like a bellows on a bagpipe to emit a steady bass note while simultaneously producing a higher nasal tone and essentially carrying two tunes at the same time.
The traditional Long Song
The traditional Long Song is the great Mongolian classical form of singing and is a powerful way of musically expressing deep emotions for loved ones, the land, nature and beloved horses. Ms. Namjilyn Norovbanzad is considered the greatest Mongolian Long Song singer of the 20th century. Her powerful voice can fill a music hall without any need for amplification even though she is nearly seventy years old. The song titles from her most recent CD, "The Sun Over the Placid World" convey the typical subjects addressed in the Mongolian Long Song tradition. They include, "The Gently Fluttering Wind", "A Graceful Black Horse", "The Sight of the River Herlen", "A Little Bay Steed", "A Cowboy", and "Misty Crest of a Mountain Ridge".
Morin Khuur (Horse Head Fiddle)
One of Mongolian musical instruments the Morin Khuur has the most prominent place in Mongolian musical forms. Legend has it that a long time ago when the beloved horse of a young Mongolian died, he made a musical instrument from its hair and hide to remind him of his dear friend. The Morin Khuur can produce the rich varied tones of a cello or be coaxed to sound like a horse neighing and galloping.
Traditional Mongolian wrestling called Bukh is the most prominent sport amongst Mongols and is one of the three arenas of competition in the greatest of the annual Mongolian national celebrations called the Naadam. Archery and horseracing are the two other competition sports in the Naadam but the champion wrestlers win the greatest glory. Mongolians prize the strength, skill and dignified character that are the hallmark of great wrestler champions.
Mongolians hospitality is legendary and is a very important part of Mongolian society and culture. Travellers are welcomed in the round nomadic home as called Gers to share cheese, yogurt, and Airag which is fermented mares milk and cherished also by Mongolian city dwellers. Strangers are made to feel welcome almost anytime and in a place where temperature routinely drop to 20 and 30 degrees below zero in the winter months, the warmth of a welcoming Ger is deeply appreciated by the tired traveller. Neighbours are an important ally and mainstay for the Mongolian nomads as they pursue their difficult way of life. Cooperation, courtesy and considerate behaviour towards others are a very important part of Mongolian society and culture.