REMARKS BY PRESIDENT OF MONGOLIA KHALTMAAGIIN BATTULGA AT THE OPENING CEREMONY OF THE NAADAM FESTIVITY
President of Mongolia Khaltmaagiin Battulga delivered remarks at the opening ceremony of the Naadam festivity commemorating the the 2227th anniversary of the Mongolian Statehood, the 812th anniversary of the Great Mongol Empire, the 97th anniversary of the Mongolian People’s Revolution and the 29th anniversary of the Democratic Revolution today.
President Battulga said:
“My fellow countrymen,
Dear friends and visitors,
Welcome to our state great festivity – the MONGOL NAADAM.
Our ancestors have long been celebrating and holding games to showcase their skills by challenging each other’s strength and stamina, the sharpness of vision and the speed of their horses. The Mongol Naadam is a clear demonstration of this tradition where its content has been preserved until today and its form has been developed and adjusted in accordance with changing times. If we look back into history, a rock painting illustrating wrestlers competing and audience enjoying the match, which was found on our land dates back to the Neolithic Age 9 thousand years ago. This is a proof that the tradition of celebrating the Naadam has at least 9 thousand years of history. According to historians, similar evidence of another ancient festivity is the 6 thousand-year-old rock art which depicts swimming and competing that was found near Wadi Surah in Libya.
It is considered that the sport festivals were held and became a tradition as people from different nations of the world gather and joyfully celebrate by challenging their strength, stamina, speed and agility. For the nomadic people, the MONGOL NAADAM has been a momentous festivity as significant and popular as the Olympic Games of ancient Greece.
During the Naadam, Mongolians have halted the conflicts and clashes, cherished solidarity and celebrated it free of politics and division. The Naadam is the celebration of unity and understanding; it is a grand sporting event. It has always been this way. Even now, we are following the tradition inherited from our ancestors and celebrating Naadam joyfully.
Besides being a sports competition, the MONGOL NAADAM is a festivity which gives a great opportunity to admire and appreciate the heritage, traditional arts and culture. I wish to extend my greetings specifically to tourists and friends who are visiting Mongolia. Have a pleasant stay in beautiful Mongolia and experience as much as possible. Visit us again and again. We, Mongolians, will always welcome you with open arms.
I hereby declare the commencement of the MONGOL NAADAM Festivity.
May all the horses be fast, arrows be sharp and wrestlers be strong.
May the MONGOL NAADAM exist forever under the Eternal Blue Sky.
May happiness be with you always.”