LEGEND OF GOBI
Updated: Oct 24, 2019
Legend of Gobi is a local school folklore band. 15 students from Bulgan village school, 10-14 years old, formed this band in 2018 and now they are ready to present their concert to the public. Their concert includes traditional music, folklore songs about Gobi, camels and Mongolian dances.
Bulgan sum is found at the end of Altai Mountain range, with a population of 2100 only, mostly living as camel herders in the open steppe of Gobi. Bulgan village is the main center, established for plantation fields thanks to much rare, but rich underground spring sources. They grow vegetables such as tomatoes, carrots, cabbage, onions, as well as its delicious watermelon sort. The village has one school, one kindergarten, one cultural center, one bank, and the public office.
The Bulgan village school has 200 children studying for 9 years (end of middle school). 33 people are working at the school including 15 teachers and 1 English contract teacher. Most children stay at school dorm during the school year and go back home in the countryside for the summer holiday. A few who stay in the village find their summer holiday boring and aimless. Dream Gobi Lodge, taking its responsibility to support the local community talked to Mr. Ganzorig.A, the school director and found out school needs support in art and music curriculum.
Combining these needs, we decided to help them build a school music program. It started with talking to students and their parents who we found happy with this initiative and willing to join and help.
Two professional teachers from the University of Culture and Art came to the school to train the students and help them form the band. Kids picked a name inclusive of their home Gobi and added a word legend because it sounded cool. They are called “Gobi Legend”. Everybody wants to be in this band!
They needed more musical instruments as what school had was old, toneless or beyond repair. Dream Gobi Lodge worked with Egshiglen, one of the leading traditional musical instrument factories. “Legend of Gobi” at the moment has 4 Morin khuur (horse-headed fiddle), 4 yatga (harp), 2 yochin (dulcimer), and 2 flutes. Band also wanted to have fancy costumes to go with. So Dream Gobi Lodge team talked to a traditional costume designer and now the band has deels, traditional Mongolian outfit, showing the harmony of the music ensemble, variety of ethnic diversity and high-end fashion trend.
Training took time. Some have given up. But 20 students, who want to play, sing and dance left in the band. All of them live in Bulgan village with their parents and all want to pursue their passion. Dream Gobi Lodge wants to support their dream, help them follow their passion, and further aid them to gain university education in Ulaanbaatar. The ticket income covers their school music program costs and goes directly to children. Dream Gobi Lodge does this based on non-profit activity to support the local community. But we hope our guests help us buying drinks!
“Legend of Gobi” travels 70 kilometers to come to our lodge and present their concert. They often come early to prepare and wait for the guests to gather from all around the Gobi. So we wanted to spend this precious time in a meaningful way. With the help of a professional teacher, we came up with an English lesson program. Every time these kids come to our lodge, they go back home with new learning’s. The English program is divided into sections, home assignments and we are lacking tutors.
Please support our music program. We are looking for an English teacher to volunteer throughout the summer and earn a free trip to Mongolia. We are hoping to meet guests who would like to help sponsor the music program, English courses, books, and musical instruments. No amount will be small for the future of these talented children.