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Photographer's Note

On our way back from Karakorum to the capital Ulaanbaatar to attend the opening ceremonies for the Naadam Festival we saw big crowd (at this part of Mongolia everything with three people or more in the same place is crowd!), lots of cars & vans and even more horses. We asked our guide what was going on and he told us that they were having sort of final regional competitions to decide who we go to the ‘main’ Naadam Festival as representative of their region in wrestling, archery and horse racing. We asked him to stop and we mingled with the locals in the audience. We didn’t see any archery competitions, horse racing was hard to follow because you basically just see the start & finish of it but wrestling was revelation… Not to mention that everyone liked this Naadam much more that the official one we went to few days later, which was OK but held on the stadium, attended by the president and quite formal compared to this local one…
I like the mixure of traditional and modern in this photo – young fan dressed in jersey of well-known basketball star from another country (and another continent) watching traditional Mongolian sport pretty much in the middle of nowhere…

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