5 What Not to Do in Mongolian Ger
When you travel to Mongolia, you will get a chance to visit or even stay in a famous Mongolian Ger, constructible, and movable house. Mongolians' ger housing has a long tradition and has passed through many stages of development and evolution. The ger, which is best suited for nomadic life, is very attractive in terms of structure. The Mongolian ger is light, compact, durable, and has a unique architectural design.
There are a couple of thousands of traditional rules and superstitions regarding Mongolian Ger. And we have chosen 5 important rules which could be useful when you travel to Mongolia. Mongolian nomads like to teach the rules to foreigners instead of getting offended. But we recommend you to learn the following 5 traditional rules regarding Mongolian Ger.
/Picture of the ger with a traditional and modern ride of nomads/
1. Do not step on the bottom of the threshold of the door when you enter or exit the ger. Please try to step over it. Even tripping on the threshold frame is not acceptable. The threshold is considered as the border, which separates the Ger and outside. Therefore, nobody should step on the threshold out of respect for the family.
/Drone footage of gers of nomads/
2. Do not walk between the ger columns that hold up the roof. This is considered bad luck. It is also forbidden from the safety point of view because the whole ger will collapse if these two columns are damaged or moved.
/Mongolian nomad is holding the columns of the ger while the ger is being set up/
3. Do not sit at the head (or north) of the ger. The door of the ger always faces the south to help nomads to figure out an hour based on the position of the sun. That is why the head of the ger is in the north. The head of the ger is a place for the man (father) of the family, but if he is absent, the oldest man can sit there.
/Left: View from the head (or north) of the ger & Right: Father of the family is sitting on the head of the ger/
4. Do not proceed to the righ-hand side of the ger. The left-hand side of the ger is known as the side for guests. The right-hand-side is for family, or by invite only. There will be a bed and small chairs to sit on, but small chairs might not be enough for everyone if you traveling with a large number of people
/Guests are sitting in the left-hand side of the ger/
5. Do not refuse the host’s offerings, which are usually milk tea with salt and dairy. Refusal is considered as unrespectful and rude behavior. If you are lactose intolerant, you can just take the offering and return it. You do not need to worry about milk tea as it is made out of cow, goat, or sheep milk.
/Hosts are serving traditional Mongolian milk tea and dairies to guests/
Mongolian nomads are one of the most hospitable people in the world. They will treat you with everything they have even if you are uninvited and dropped there unexpectedly. All you can do is show some respect.