those not “in-the-know”, UB means Ulaanbaatar, and with a long convoluted name like Ulaanbaatar, who wouldn’t want to shorten it to UB. I can’t get over how modernized UB is becoming, but whenever I leave the apartment, I can always see one or more persons dressed in the traditional Mongolian robe or Monk robes. You’d be hard pressed to find someone in Victorian-style-clothing on a normal day in the U.S., but it’s common practice to see UB citizens walk around in the brightly colored satin robes of yester years, as frequently as you see Western clothed people.
I’ve also enjoyed the food – a unique blend of Asian spices and lots of meat. My favorite is the hotpot restaurants, which is basically cooking for dummies. You order all the ingredients, veggies, meat, pasta, and then they bring you a hotpot – a pot of boiling water and you cook everything yourself in the water and make a tailored dinner for one. It’s fun and delicious.
As a general rule, Mongolians are very hospitable people. I believe this is part of the buddhist mentality that thrives in UB and the greater area of Mongolia. The children’s department at MNB has a wonderful producer who offered to take me along on their weekend shooting of their children’s program for June 1, which is Children’s Day in Mongolia. Mongolians are very family-oriented. This weekend I got to see just how much.
On Saturday, we took a group of children to a bread factory to shoot a sponsorship piece. The bread factory had donated money in exchange for some self-promotion – very typical business no matter where you are in the world.
Then on Sunday, we were shooting the program in the main studio, which is the biggest studio in UB. It was a juvenile Mongolian talent show with a few famous Mongolian guests, none of whom I could truly appreciate, but I can always bragged I met some famous Mongolian singer to other Mongolians.
The good, and sometimes bad, is that I look Mongolian. Well, not really. I look Asian, which Mongolians are Asian. This is good because I can blend in very easily. I don’t feel short at all! However, they all speak to me in Mongolian, and I’m sure I’ve been rude to some because I have no idea what they are saying and don’t know if they are talking to me or not.
I didn’t do much outside of observe how they went about shooting the program, but I did produce a small piece for Voice of Mongolia to air on Children’s Day. My American friends won’t be able to reach it, but most of Asia, Europe, and Australia should tune in on June 1st for a piece of Mongolian culture.