Thursday, February 01, 2007

Hospitality Wars

The national new year celebration is gearing up. White Moon is celebrated on the same date as Chinese New Year, starting this February 19, through the 22nd. Mongolians will prepare thousands of mutton dumplings, and give gifts to hundreds of guests visit their home.

The cost of this unfortunately is secondary to the need to show hospitality. Mongolians are so strongly programmed to show hospitality, it's amazing and perhaps the gem of the splendor of their culture. But unfortunately the observation of this holiday seems to play this good character trait against them.

People are so generous and concerned to show others a good time, that this also happens to be the season of people taking loans to buy all the stuff they need to celebrate the holiday. Sound familiar anyone? If you wonder what Americans did for Christmas before the age of credit cards, just cast a glance at today's Mongolia.

I hope our friends' desire to show good hospitality is not the same as Americans making sure we give our kids as good or better gifts than their friends get. I hope their not keeping up with the Jones'. It's just sad to see people taking loans to spend what they can't really afford to buy what they don't need. Competitiveness aside, human nature appears to be alive and well in Mongolia.

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