Dorj Batmunkh, a second-generation champion wrestler, waits for a new opponent at the Naadam festival in Khujirt. Batmunkh did not win this match.
Described as the Kentucky Derby, the Olympics and Christmas all rolled into one, Mongolia's Naadam is an 8-centuries-old celebration of heroism and masculinity. The festival's horse-racing, wrestling and archery competitions are a unifying force for the country.
September 10, 2009 Mongolia is better known for its ancient "throat" singing, practiced by the shamans in the time of Ghengis Khan. But in a country where almost 60 percent of the population is younger than 30, hip-hop has become an effective way of making political statements and carving out a new Mongolian identity.
September 9, 2009 A World Health Organization report notes that alcohol abuse could be Mongolia's biggest stumbling block to economic and social progress as it drives up crime rates and creates public health concerns. Critics also say alcohol is too plentiful and the government is too reliant on revenues from alcohol sales.
September 8, 2009 The International Monetary Fund has declared the worst of the global recession over, but that's not the case in Mongolia, where the financial crisis hit later than in the U.S. And a plunge in commodity prices — especially metals and wool — is having an enormous impact.
September 7, 2009 A 21st-century gold rush is taking place in Mongolia. An estimated 100,000 Mongolians — many herders who have left their flocks behind — are working as informal "ninja" miners. Life is hard for them, and their work is causing untold damage to the environment.