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Dmitriy Mandzhiev, About Tsagan Sar

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Terbish, Baasanjav 


Dmitriy talks about how people traditionally celebrate Tsagan Sar:When my grandmother was alive, we always made biscuits in advance. For Tsagan Sar you need to cook a lot of food, because everyone comes to visit you. In the olden days, if someone was greedy, people would conspire, and come and eat everything in that person’s house. The idea was to make that person feel ashamed, since that person would have had no food left to offer when other people came later. We always made a lot of tea, wore new and clean clothes. My grandmother would put on a national dress. After that, people paid a visit to each other, which was obligatory. People drank a lot of tea and uttered well wishes. It was especially important to hear well wishes from old people, in particular from old women. I always thought, why old women and what was special about them? Now I think that this preference was because men drink alcohol, steal cattle, but women stay at home, raise their children, and therefore stay pure. Hence old women’s well wishes are considered to be pure. We used to send a car to bring old women to our house. If you do not receive well wishes from an elderly woman, it is believed that the winter would not leave your house. Traditionally, greetings involved an inquiry about whether one has spent the winter well and whether there is plenty of milk and dairy products around.



Tsagan Sar

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Kalmyk Cultural Heritage Documentation Project, University of Cambridge

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Sponsored by Arcadia Fund, a charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin