HONG KONG, Jan. 19, 2024 /PRNewswire/ -- For centuries the people of Mongolia were nomads, and while a quarter of its over 3 million people still are, the country is evolving. The ambitious, tech-savvy youth are building new opportunities and showcasing what makes this nation so unique and dynamic. On this episode of Spirit of, CNN travels the country from the vast steppe to the streets of Ulaanbaatar to discover how young Mongolians are celebrating their rich history and culture in their own authentic ways.
CNN starts in the outskirts of Mongolia's capital, Ulaanbaatar, where "The Festival of Archers" is taking place. The festival is a celebration of one of Mongolia's most ancient traditions – archery. CNN meets Punsaldulam Badam-Ochir, a revered athlete in Mongolia that goes by the title "Mightiest Archer Among All". Her goal is to help promote the sport and train the next generation of archers. She is a role model to many, showcasing the determination, hard work and strength of a modern-day warrior.
Next, CNN travels through Southern Gobi to the "Three Camel Lodge", a remote wilderness experience where guests can get a glimpse into the lifestyle of Mongolia's nomads. The rooms are upscaled gers – traditional nomadic homes powered by solar energy. CNN speaks to Jalsa Urubshurow, the Mongolian-American businessman who envisioned this sustainable and authentic hospitality experience for travelers. Here, he has hired mostly locals including 33-year-old Buyandelger "Buya" Ganbaatar who has been leading tours across Mongolia for a decade. Buya brings CNN to one of the most important fossil sites in the world: The Flaming Cliffs. A century ago, this is where explorers discovered the first scientifically recognized dinosaur eggs here. Back at the Three Camel Lodge, head chef Munkhtsetseg "Muugii" Nasanbat prepares meals for guests, and even offers courses for learning how to prepare traditional Mongolian dishes.
Finally, CNN meets the rock group "The Hu", recipients of Mongolia's highest state award and one of the country's most treasured cultural assets. The band has featured on the 30th anniversary of Metallica's Black album, made music for Star Wars video games and topped a Billboard chart. Through social media, they have been able to share their music across the world. In 2022, "The Hu" became the first metal act in the world to be named UNESCO's Artist for Peace. Their sound is heavily influenced by Mongolian history and heritage; they use traditional instruments and throat singing to create music so distinct that it has its own genre – "Hunnu rock". The band takes CNN to the countryside to show the Mongolia that inspires them. Their horses reside and train here, and they visit regularly to stay in touch with their Mongolian traditions. Later, the band members prepare a nomadic barbeque specialty of the country called "Khorkhog" -- lamb is cut into pieces, then cooked inside a container heated by hot stones.
Airtimes for 30-minute special:
- Saturday, 20th January at 1:30pm HKT
- Sunday, 21st January at 7:00pm HKT
- Monday, 22nd January at 2:30am HKT
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