David Holliday: Tsagaan Sar shows how family unit is strong in Mongolia

Editor S.Odbayar

2015-02-26 09:57 GMT+8

We are delivering the Tsagaan Sar experiences of expats working and living in Mongolia. First guest is Mr David J. Holliday, CEO of Mobicom Corporation.

Ta Sar shinedee saikhan shinelev uu?
Sar shiniin mend hurgeye.

Bayarlalaa. Thank you very much. Back to our conversation on Tsagaan Sar. How many years have you been working and living in Mongolia?
This will be my second year and I came in 2013. I was very pleased to be here and I still am pleased to be here leading Mobicom.

Please share with our readers your experience with celebrating Tsagaan Sar?
As a foreigner I didn’t know what to expect at first and I was told that so many things going on and so many meetings with the family and so many customs to observe. It was so bewildering at first. But I just got into the routine, helped by the Mongolian staff we have and some Mongolian friends. They just told me just relax and just enjoy yourself it is what it is all about.

Although there are some customs that are obviously have to be observed, I can see now that the reason for Tsagaan Sar, which is to say goodbye to winter and welcome the new year and look forward to all the opportunities lying ahead of us. And also to renew ties with the whole family. It is something that resonates with Mobicom, because we have organized ourselves as one family now. This is very important for us; and also the work we have to do, because there are only eight months left of the year, when you can build. It doesn’t give you with much time, so we’ve been planning for the new year and the work that company does and the festival of Tsagaan Sar have a lot of parallel.

Yes this gathering puts everyone in a mood for achievment for the coming year.
As a westerner, I think this is something we should have more in the west, because the family unit in Mongolia is very strong. Unlike the west. So I would like to see more of this happening in the west with families getting together.

How did you spend Tsagaan Sar this year?
I spent it doing some work catching up. I went to some places where I had some traditional food buuz, airag and I ate too much.

What was the most exciting or difficult thing during the Tsagaan Sar?
Most exciting thing I think was watching people prepare for it. Of course all the ladies had to leave work early and prepare food and prepare the house. They have a lot of work to do. There are so many exciting things and for me the highlight was going to places where you can eat traditional food and you can just relax. This year was much more relaxed for me, because I enjoyed it more.

May be because you were already familiar with the customs and traditions.
I wasn’t afraid of doing something wrong. I just enjoyed myself.

What would you advise your friends coming to visit Mongolia during Tsagaan Sar?
Very clearly, just embrace it and enjoy yourself. Make sure that you take some time to learn what is Tsagaan Sar about, what it means for Mongolian people. Be respectful and at the same time enjoy yourself.

Please greet our readers for Tsagaan Sar?
Sar shiniin mend hurgeye.

Thank you very much.

For the full footage of the interview please see the video below.



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