Fire Worship

by sumpteretc

Today it was unseasonably warm. It was well over 10 degrees this morning, so I decided to walk to school. By time, I arrived I was sweating. But I even took our iPod and it didn’t freeze up once!

In my colloquial Mongolian class, I’m slogging through some fairly obscure stuff. It’s basically how to say, “Hey, do something with that thingy over there by you.” I doubt I’ll use it much, but at least maybe I’ll understand when somebody is asking me to do something with some vague object in my vicinity.

In my culture and traditions class, we talked about the tradition of fire worship in Mongolia. A few odd things crept up in that discussion. In Mongolian culture, the youngest son inherits all of the personal belongings of his father, including his hearth. I can’t say that I know of another culture where that is the norm. Another oddity was the custom of a newly married person doing obeisance before their father’s fire. That didn’t strike me too strangely at first, but my teacher explained that the person actually touches their forehead to the stove three times. That’s gonna leave a mark!