That is the question.
Do you the ger is a special place for nomadic people ? It’s not only a simple house your build and you take if off, it has a sacred character ! Consequently, it’s place full of symbols that nowadays beliefs are still present and some of them could be…little bit weird ( about this, don’t forget to remove your when you get in ) ! So, what we must do or especially we must not do inside the get ? We reveal your our top 5 rules to respect to make you real nomad !
It’s breakfast time ! Are you under pressure ?
It’s 7.30am. The day before, the mother of the nomadic family took time to put on the floor some warm blanket to keep us warm during the frozen night (do you remember, just between her bed and the a small table?). You haven’t opened your eyes yeet but you know you will have to leave them soon, those cosy blankets : the indication ? Odor of tea who comes to tickle your nose and the noise of the liquid it’s been droping into the thermos : it’s almost time for breakfast and it’s part of those important moments in nomadic life where you should get some attitudes … Or not !
Yes, politeness in our own country could be assimilate to offenses in Mongolia ( stay stand instead of sit down without ask permission for exemple ) ! Anyway, don’t get to much pressure : smiles, respectful attitude and proof of your drive will be enough to be adopted… Nomads are not savages ! 😉
Information of the year : Some countries call the mongolian’s house » yourte » / » yurt « .
But the right name is « ger », nomad only us this one which you have to pronounce » guer » or « guir » , keep on training you will use it a lot.
→ 1. NEVER GOING INTO IT WITH YOUR LEFT FOOT
And to put your foot on threshold don’t even touch it.
In nomadic belief, threshold means the neck of head’s family : if you walk on it, you stamp his neck ! It’s an primordial rule. Gengis Khan used to sentence to death those who dare to disrespect it … ! Conclusion : at this that time, Maxime would have been killed in 2sec (cf picture below, yes it’s also valid for the ger under construction).
→ 2. ONCE YOU ARE IN…SIT DOWN QUICKLY !
The opposite means you are up to no good*.
In general you’ll find a tiny bed on the left side of the ger, it’s a place reserved for guest, don’t hesitate to sit when go into it : if waiting patiently to get the permission it’s polite for us, it’s an offense in Mongolia. The one who goes into a ger and doesn’t sit like a guest is bearer of bad sign or wants to make troubles to the family
*we hold ourselves to do not make a joke about Harry Potter, we promise.
→ 3. WE RECEIVE / GIVE ONLY WITH THE RIGHT HAND
…And doesn’t matter for the left hand !
For the right hand no worries, for the others … it’s one of the hardest to respct (it’s also a true story) ! It’s really difficult to give the opposite hand when somebody give a cup of tea (you’ll get … a lot !) or when you want to give something to somebody for exemple. Don’t panic : you’ll do this mistake by inadvertence and Mongolian will laugh about your worry face…instead of be angry with you ! To don’t make this mistake, tell yourself left hand should be placed under the right elbow.
→ 4. ALWAYS ACCEPT OFFERING FROM THE FAMILY
Even if you will never always know what you get !
Even if the small « chocolates » (?) seams suspect, even if it’s a tiny / hard off-white yak milk piece or sheep tongue (we got some)…All families got in their ger a bowl full of sweets in case some visitors come and they will give you some when you will be sit, even before start talking ! Hospitality takes an important place the Mongolian tradition , imply tons of customs almost ceremonial : this bowl is part of them, that would a serious offense to refuse (don’t be afraid, we got some sheep tongue and some delicious « cookies » made from … yak milk ) !
→ 5. FIRE IS SACRED
Forgot your old habit !
Just want to say : throw NOTHING on it, no rubbish, no paper, no water, not the rest of your dinner… Nothing ! Don’t orientate your feet on his direction (like many countries, feet are the opposite of head which is … sacred : then it would be impolite to present your feet to the fire ). Finally, when you lay down, put your head on the fire side and orientate your feet on the direction of exit of the ger : We are not here to get the spirits angry, are we ?
WATCH OUT, BONUS
→ THE RULE WHO SURPASS THE OTHERS
Gers got all the same architecture, one circular structure and two central pillars where the roof is set down : never cross those pillars ! We told you that gers are full of symbols and beliefs, those pillars are the materialization : they symbolize the link between earth and sky (those elements are also present in the ger with blue and orange color), space between them is sacred. Don’t put any object between those wood pillars, don’t also give something throught and especially don’t cross between, even if you will be tempt by this clear space…Said to yourself it’s a forbidden zone !
You are ready for your first time in a Mongolian ger !
Calm down, even if it’s a lot information in one time, all rules will become naturals and you will get use to it, most important principles are the most simple : respect and kindness. Nomads are tolerant and adorable : if you try your best, all mistake will be a funny moment instead of scandal ! Conclusion, you’re ready for your first time into a ger … But especially ready to get some unforgettable / awesome moments.
Delphine & Maxime.
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