Gobi Desert, Mongolia
The sacred space within the ger
While in Mongolia, you will likely have the opportunity to stay with a nomadic family. It's a fantastic experience that I can't recommend highly enough. However, in order to be a respectful guest- it's important to understand the the ger not just a home, but a sacred space. When entering or moving about within the ger, always move clockwise- as you would within a Buddhist temple or around a ovoo (a stone cairn). The center of the ger (generally where the stove is) is the most sacred space within the structure. You must never pass through this space. I was also told recently that whistling within the ger brings bad luck. In order to make sure that you are acting respectfully, be sure to ask your guide or your hosts what other customs you should be aware of. Also, it's a great conversation starter!
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