European days among the nomads 2/3
Updated: Mar 30
Ulaanbaatar, the opera, the main square, a hat with a feather and European days. As representatives of the Czech Republic, a parade emerged on the square headed by Carl IV. and a few counsellors. Me and a fellow calligrapher stood on the side waiting for the king to be seated on a throne.
I am not sure how it was perceived by the Mongols around me, but Carl IV. was a smaller Mongolian guy in a red, ermine coat. A European guy wearing a lackey costume and a Mongol in a brown deel stand close by. Giant brushes, litres of ink and a bottle of red paint. The stage is set.
Once the king waved, me and Tuvshin spread the giant papers on the ground and it was on. The great contrast was me writing “Mongolia” and he wrote “Czechia”. What was unexpected for the Mongols around was my signature. I dipped my fist into the red paint and the paper got a nice hit. Even though I haven’t written it here yet, I always sign my work with a fist. And I thoroughly enjoyed the applause along with the surprised faces.
The second step of calligraphy was writing with smaller brushes according to the activities on the stage. There were clowns, puppets, and Czech polka (Czech national dance) and I wrote the name each time and showed it to the audience. Only at that point people realized I knew what I was doing.
One of the things I realized during the two weeks in Ulaanbaatar was the extent to which the language is connected with the script. I am learning the language, but I can’t speak well. On the other hand, I know the script very well. Everytime I spoke to someone who knew the script, he didn’t believe me. That created funny moments with papers with aids for me to write it correctly.
At least I know now that I want to speak some Mongolian when I come back. I can write, but combined with the language it is really beautiful.
In the third part of the European days there were more talks with Ambassadors of the European Union, Czech Republic and writing of various logo’s of companies. But more of that in a week.