T-D Celebrates Mongolian Heritage Day

By: Quincy A. Campbell, Editor in Chief

Thornton-Donovan’s 2018-2019 school year has begun! And what better way to kick the year off than with a day of cultural celebration?

On Friday, September 14, T-D received its first taste of Mongolian culture, celebrating the country’s National Heritage Day. Students crowded the front lawn of the school White House and were met by a large round tent structure. Headmaster Fleming then introduced a Mongolian ambassador, Dr. Surena Dorj, who explained that the official name for the structure was a “yurt.”  She informed the students of the significance of the yurt in Mongolian culture and its use as a portable home that can be brought down and rebuilt throughout the nation’s countryside. Dr. Dorj also informed us of several other aspects of Mongolian culture, such as their love for horses.

The students were then treated with live Mongolian traditional music with a performer playing on the Mongolian horse head fiddle (the morin khuur,) and a singer singing traditional songs. We were then given the chance to build our own miniature yurt and peruse the various Mongolian artworks that were put on display by Mongolian event-planner Byambakhuu. After being treated by Dr. Dorj with a variety of traditional finger foods, T-D’s students and faculty were invited to the school’s tennis court for the afternoon’s main event: a live performance from metal band “Tennger Calvary,” a Mongolian music group led by morin khuur player Nature G.

The Overlook Journal had the chance to speak to some T-D students about their thoughts of this cultural event.

“It was well thought out. The traditions of Mongolia and how they showed it to us was really exciting” says sophomore Mohammed Ali ‘21, who says his favorite part of the day was hearing Nature G’s traditional throat singing.

Thornton-Donovan will be engaging more in Mongolian history and culture throughout the year, with thematic classes focusing on its music, historic significance and present society, all leading up to our annual international trip to Mongolia this coming February.