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Mongolian Traditional Clothing: Comfort and Elegance - P2/2 (In Mongolian)    
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Today’s A Journey through Aesthetic Realms will be presented in Mongolian, with subtitles in Arabic, Aulacese (Vietnamese), Aulacese (Vietnamese), Chinese, English, French, German, Hungarian, Indonesian, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Mongolian, Persian, Portuguese, Persian, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish.

Pure-hearted viewers, welcome to A Journey through Aesthetic Realms on Supreme Master Television. Today to conclude our two-part series on traditional Mongolian clothing, we will look at the diversity of these costumes among various Mongolian ethnic groups, and how this cultural treasure has influenced other parts of the world. We will hear from distinguished Mongolian scientist Dr. Dulam Sendenjav, fashion designer Uyanga Tsembel, and participants of the 2010 Mongolian Deel Festival.

A Mongolian costume is very abundant, thus it constitutes many kinds of details. In Mongolia, there are more than 20 ethnic groups; all those have about 400 kinds of deel, 20 kinds of hats and belts, as well as 20 or 10 kinds of boots. According to the many ethnic group differences, like, their way of living, the characteristic of the territory, traditions of the ancient times, the differences in age, gender, as well as their title or position, all ethnic groups garments differ from one another.

First, let’s look at the costumes of the Khalkh, the largest ethnic group, which represents over 80% of the total Mongolian population.

I came from Dornod Province to participate in this Mongol Deel Festival. Very recently I also attended an Eastern regional trade fair of traditional clothing and won the Grand Prize for my costumes. I am wearing a costume of a married woman of the Khalkh ethnic group. I made this myself. After retirement, I started engaging in the making of traditional clothing. I wear it often and feel so proud of being a Mongolian.

Why does the upper part of this Mongolian deel face this direction?

It has a meaning. We say “Khurai” by hand like that.

This is called “Khurai,” meaning “harvest” or “to keep within.” We offer to our ancestors and receive their blessings, and when we get presents we put them into our chest pocket. That is why it is on this side. When we receive presents we make a gesture clockwise to express our thankfulness.

Could you please explain now about the costume you are wearing?

My deel is called “Khaj magnag.” This embroidery made around the dragon is an ancient traditional Mongolian art called coin knitting. This is made with coin knitting. I made this costume purposely for this festival. And I put on a belt worn by Mongolian men. We say the body is inside the belt, inside the body exists the soul.

This means that the belt protects the body and the body protects the soul. Mongolians keep the belt tight, which means keeping your soul strong. The reason why I wear a hat is that there are no Mongolians without hats. The head is inside the hat, and inside the head exists the world. Ancient Mongolians respected their hats.

Could you explain to us about your hairstyle?

This is called the third eye of ancient Mongolians. The third eye is hidden behind the hair. It means not to lose anything of yours, but harvest it within.

The Kazakh people are a Muslim ethnic group which account for about 4% of the country’s population. Their clothing features elaborate embroideries and a characteristic women’s headdress and short-sleeved overcoat.

We are attending from Songino Khairkhan District with traditional costumes of Kazakh nations. Our traditional costume has a long history. This embroidery is handmade and by sewing machine. This is all handmade. This was made by my wife. This is a silver belt. Same as Khalkh Mongolians, we also have a tradition of wearing silver belts. This is a knife. This is called a “Chinjaal” knife. This in the back is called Ekse.

What is it used for?

This is a belt. These are used for hanging other appliances and hand tools.

This white cloak is worn by elderly people. This is one kind of decoration which is used to keep women’s hair nicely and it is called “Bursh Dama,” but we ourselves name it as “Kasal keste.” We did all these decorations including this “Kasal keste.” This is included in all our decorations. I spent two months to make all my clothing, handmade by needle.

What do these decorations of the Kazakh costume mean?

This is called “goyo-todrek.”

Todrek is made for decorative purposes. It was made in olden time. Wearing traditional Kazakh clothing makes you feel proud of your culture and heritage.

Besides Khalkh and Kazakh, other Mongolian ethic groups include Dorvod, Bayad, Buryat, Dariganga, Zahchin, and Urianhai. Each can be identified by the distinct variations in their costumes. The beginning of Mongolian rich clothing heritage can be traced back to more than 2200 years ago, before the era of Khunnu.

It originated in the Stone Age. And then it became more developed during the period of Khunnu, where the Mongolian deel with collar originated, which has either a right or left barter. There were special instructions to wear Mongolian garments in the Khunnu period.

The generation and development can be divided in 4 categories: First, ancient times; second, Middle Ages or the 13th century, third, later time or up to the 17th -19th centuries; and finally, modern times or up to the 21st century. So it has evolved and changed over a long time.

One of the features of our traditional clothing is that it is closely linked to state rituals and religion. For instance, it is said that the hat represents blooming state, deel represents expanding state, outer deel for strong state, belt for fulfilling state, and shoes for supporting state. At the ancient time, Mongolians used to show the culture of symbolism of Mongolian customs during state events, ritual, and ceremony.

Sometimes these are even reflected in oral and written laws and regulations. Specially, during official, state high-level diplomatic visits, state attendants and officials strictly followed the rules of wearing special clothing and performing rituals. Even ordinary citizens followed a clothing code during festivity and ceremony including the Lunar New Year, etc.

Through centuries of cultural blending, many elements displayed on Mongolian costumes can also be found on the clothing designs of neighboring countries.

Mongolia was a great empire in the ancient times. Yes, since after the dependency of Manchurian Empire, our Mongolian national costume became reliant on the costume of Manchurian Empire. Thus the Manchuria took the style of our Mongolian costume style, extended and spread it over Southeast Asian countries throughout history.

While studying the clothing style of Bogd Khan Jebtsundamba, who is a spiritual head and monarch of Mongolia, I discovered reflections of much symbolism related to Indian, Tibetan, and Mongolian history.

So, the deel of a Mongol king had 9 dragons described. But Manchurian kings had 5 dragons described on their clothing. As Mongolians worship the number nine, they described nine dragons on the outer deel. So, from laymen to noblemen, Mongolians have reflected their belief in the decorations of their deel.

Today, traditional costumes play an indispensable role in presenting the magnificent Mongolian culture to people from all over the world.

The Mongol deel is a part of our identity and Mongolians are increasingly appreciating their national culture and traditions, wearing deels more often. I am very proud of it. Also foreign tourists are very interested in our national costumes and they are often seen wearing them.

What do you think about Mongolian traditional deel?

I like it a lot. That’s why I very much want it. And I bought one and also have made one several months ago, because I want to have a real nice deel which also reflects my work which is with water in Ulaanbaatar, so it is the blue color of the water and I like this a lot. It feels comfortable to wear.

Could you please share with us your impressions?

I am very happy to participate in this event together with foreigners who came from overseas.

You have participated together and won this prize?

Yes. We won it together.

What ethnic group does your costume belong to?

This is a costume of the Zakhchin ethnic group.

I’ve been in Mongolia for almost three years. So I have started to feel little bit like Mongol, and that’s why I have participated of course.

Please come and join us in the Mongol Deel Festival. And wear Mongol deel.

I would like to encourage all children to wear the Mongol deel.

I would like to tell modern youths to be more conscious about their ancestors’ customs and culture and be compassionate for our world and love our world.

We sincerely thank Professor Dulam Sendenjav, Ms. Uyanga Tsembel, and participants of the Mongolian Deel Festival for introducing the fascinating traditional Mongolian costumes. From the dazzling colors, elegant motifs, lavish ornaments, and practical designs, we appreciate evermore the continuing pursuit of truth, virtue and beauty of a noble people. May the rich cultural heritage of the great nation of Mongolia flourish in Heaven’s abundant blessings.

Honorable viewers, thank you for being with us today on A Journey through Aesthetic Realms on Supreme Master Television.

Coming up next is Vegetarianism: The Noble Way of Living, after Noteworthy News. May Heaven’s grace bring joy to your loving heart.
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