eTolbo: January 2012

New Year’s greetings from MACA and 2011 Activities Overview

from Sanj Altan

Greetings for the holidays and the new year 2012. In keeping with my commitment to reduce my carbon footprint, I send electronic greetings in place of paper. First, let me wish you and your family the happiest of holidays and hope that your year went well, in good health, that you had a productive, successful and joyful 2011 and are looking forward to an even better 2012 and beyond.

2011 was an active year for the Mongol-American Cultural Association (MACA). We had a number of events and initiatives. Yet no matter how much we do, there's so much more that can be done to expand our humanitarian and cultural efforts. So in addition to pursuing a greener life, I urge you to consider joining with MACA to expand the cultural and humanitarian programs we are engaged in. Let me turn now to some of the highlights of the year.

In 2010 the Mongolian Arts Council, chaired by Mr. Jantsannorov, named 3 students as recipients of scholarships in the amounts of 1M Tg and two 500K Tg with funds provided by MACA. This funding which is generated through an interest bearing account established in Ulaanbaatar will continue in 2011 as five new nominations were evaluated for scholarships in 2011. In connection with this, MACA is investigating the possibility of a charity registration in Ulaanbaatar. This program is being coordinated by Enghe Chimood.


Arts Council Chair Mr. Jantsannorov, Enghe Chimood and scholarship recipients

MACA through Tony Ettinger entered into discussions with Amanda Fine and Margaret Curran of the Wildlife Conservation Society regarding the Nomadic Nature Trunks program in Mongolia. This program provides critically needed natural science and conservation education to communities in and around protected areas in Mongolia. The first Nomadic Trunk program was launched in 2007 in the Eastern Steppe region. It was implemented in Khentii and Sukhbaatar aimags in 2010. These discussions represent the beginnings of a shift in MACA’s focus away from health and welfare to environmental protection. MACA provided a $4,000 grant to the program as it expands its reach to other aimags.


Trunk Program Training to Khentii, Sukhbaatar teachers

In April, MACA agreed to continue the funding of the Hope Hospice with a $1,500 grant to support care for critically ill children who otherwise would have no ability to receive care.

MACA hosted a group of librarians from Southern Mongolia on May 6, 2011. The delegation was headed by Professor Nyamdorj and a tour was arranged for them of the special Heissig collection being housed in the library of the Institute for Advanced Studies in Princeton NJ through the gracious assistance of Dr Nicola Cosmo.

May 22, we visited the Tibetan-Mongolian Buddhist Cultural Center in Bloomington IN and had an audience with His Eminence, the Ajia Rinpoche. MACA provided a $1,000 donation to support their summer cultural program.

MACA collaborated with the organizers of the 47th annual memorial service to the late Dilowa Khutughtu on June 6, with nearly 100 people in attendance at the Nitsan Temple, Howell NJ. Five participants from Omon Govi province attended this year’s service on MACA’s invitation.


Yondonjamts, Jambaldorj Lamas and Sanj Altan

MACA entered into discussions with Tristra Newyear, recent graduate of Indiana University, on making the poetry of Pavel Godaev more accessible. This is an important body of work related to the Kalmyk deportation experience. Tristra has translated some of it and the question now is how best to publicize the work. One idea is to do an online webpage through one of the blog platforms. We are hopeful that this project will be implemented soon and MACA is ready to work with Tristra in making it happen.

MACA was a sponsor of the Washington Area Mongolian Community Association (WAMCA) Naadam celebration in Washington DC in July as well as the children’s festival. The WAMCA board presented MACA with a plaque in recognition of the support that MACA has provided the community over the years. Thank you WAMCA for this special recognition and honor.

July 10 the Mongolia Society celebrated their 50th anniversary. MACA’s first President, Professor Gombojab Hangin was one of the founding members of MongSock so it is not an accident that we conveyed our hearty congratulations and supported financially MongSock’s 50th year celebration with Dr. Alicia Campi at the helm and executive secretary Susie Drost continuing to do the yeoman’s work of the society. They organized and put together an outstanding program in conjunction with the PIAC conference to mark this important occasion. Good job Alicia and Susie.

In 2011, MACA continued educational scholarship support to 3 students in Ulaanbaatar. We were heartened to receive the following note from one of the students (with translation below).

sain bnu saixan naadsn u?minii neriig tamir gedeg bi tanai maca-usa baiguullagaas sar bvr tetgeleg awdag bi odoo 3r course xuduu aj axuin ix surguulid surdag odo 9r sard 4r course d surn.yuni umn ta bvxend mash ix bayrlaj yawdagaa xelexed taatai bn bi xvvxed asrax tuwd 5n jil amidarsan yag l baaska enkhmaa ted nar shig ene tetgeleg minii amidrald mash ix tustai baigaa ene munguur bi nom,xuwtsas,idex zvil,awtobusnd xergldeg bi surguulia tugsuud sain ajil xiij saxan amidrx boln ta bvxend mash ix bayrlala ajilin amjilt xvsi.tamir

Greetings and did you have an enjoyable Naadam. My name is Tamir and I receive a monthly stipend from MACA. I am in my third year of the Land and Range Management College and in September I will enter my fourth year. First of all I am happy to convey my very great thanks. I had lived in the Children's Care Center for 5 years and similar to Baska and Enkhma this stipend is a very great help to me. I use this money for books, clothing, food and bus fare. I am very grateful to you for allowing me to complete my studies and work in a good job and live a good life, I wish you much success in your work. Tamir

The World Mongolian convention took place August 25-28 in Ulaanbaatar. MACA was represented by director Enghe Chimood, who was asked by the organizers to consider hosting the 2013 meeting in the United States. It is not clear at this time whether MACA would be able to cosponsor such a convention.

September 17 we celebrated the 24th annual Chinggis Khan memorial ceremony at the Princeton Marriott where we began with a moment of silence in memory of our MACA founders, Prof. Gombojab Hangin, Tsorj Lama and Lopsang Khiyod. This most important of days gives each of us an opportunity to remember and reflect on the greatest Mongol of history, someone whose profound influence on each of us continues to this very day, more than 8 centuries after his founding of the Mongol nation. Taivan Zairan gave the shaman invitation. Chinggeltu Borjiged and Belig Borjiged organized the Chinggis ritual with ChagaanBaatar as Jinong and Chinggis Zhigmitdorjiev, Eres Salchak, Dawood Changazi, Haas, Chuluu, Darjay, Bembe and Bayaar as Yamutan. Mr. Byambakhuu served as master of ceremonies and event planner. The ceremony was particularly significant this year in having representation from the Hazara, Buriyad, Kalmyk, Tuvan, Uvur and Aru Mongol communities. There were 120 people in attendance including Mr. and Mrs. Erdenebayar Zagdragchaa, Second Secretary / Consul from the Embassy of Mongolia, Dr. Denys Voaden, Dr. Alicia Campi and 10 members of the Hazara Mongol community. The cultural performance was highlighted by the Anda Union musical group who gave a 1 hour performance made possible through the able assistance of John Luckavic and Eleanor Oldham as well as their tour leader, Tim Pearce. Mr. Gankhuyag Natsag, of the Goo-Ertunts Society, also produced an evening cultural performance.


2011 Nine Yamutan: Chuluu, Dawood, Bembe, Bayaar, Eres, Baatar, Darjay, Haas, Chinges


Anda Union Musical Group

The 2011 Humanitarian of the Year Award was presented to Temtselt Shobtsuud for his 30+ years of activism in promoting Mongolian culture and self-determination in Southern Mongolia. A special thanks to the MACA board for their continuing support of the annual ceremony as well as our ongoing cultural and humanitarian projects, Chagaan Baatar, Chinggeltu Borjiged, Enghe Chimood, Tony Ettinger, Palgi Gyamcho, and of course their families for allowing them to put their precious time and energy into these projects. Many thanks to Uranchimeg from UMON TV for capturing the ceremony on film and for editing and producing a film story on the day.

The following week on September 24, we again gathered at the Princeton Marriott for a special reception concert performance by Tsagaan Zam arranged by MACA. About 70 people were in attendance. MACA hosted Tsagaan Zam during his 2 week stay in the United States. A second concert performance was held in Washington DC. MACA conveyed a donation to the Elista orphanage in Kalmykia through Tsagaan Zam, as our first charitable effort there.


October 27th, MACA was invited to attend a Mongolian music concert at the United Nations General Assembly hall dedicated to celebrating cultural diversity on United Nations Day. Afterwards the Permanent Mission of Mongolia held a reception for His Excellency Prime Minister Mr. Batbold. I attended as the MACA representative through the coordination of Mr. Molor of the Mongolian mission and Mr. Byambakhuu of the Mongolian Heritage Foundation.

Saturday November 12, 150 people gathered at the Trump Taj Mahal, Atlantic City to mark the 60th anniversary of the arrival of the Kalmyks to the United States with MACA joining many others in conveying hearty congratulations.

The 5th anniversary of the Mongolian School of the National Capital Area's (MSNCA) was celebrated at the Mongolian embassy on December 3. MACA has been a consistent supporter of the MSNCA and for that, received a special certificate acknowledging our assistance. The certificate was received by Chagaan Baatar representing MACA. We want to congratulate Mrs. Munguntsetseg Frankosky in directing the school and making it possible for children growing up as Mongol-Americans to learn their language and culture. Thank you Tsetsgee duu for recognizing our support.

On December 10 MACA held the 20th annual memorial ceremony for the late Tsorj Gegeen Lama, former Abbot of the Khorgho Sume in Western Sunid at the Nitsan Temple. Tsorj Lama was the second president of MACA.

2011 was also significant because of the establishment of the Mongolian Heritage Foundation, based in New York, under the leadership of Dawood Ali Changazi

and Byambakhuu Darinchuluun. This organization intends to serve as a meeting ground for Mongols with a strong pan-Mongol focus. We look forward to working with them in the future and supporting their work. On the evening of December 28, the Mongolian Heritage Foundation hosted a celebration in honor of the 100th anniversary since independence was declared by Mongolia when all political ties with the Ching empire were severed. I attended as the MACA representative. During the year, the MACA web page ( was completely reorganized by our able web administrator, Belig, who also implemented the eTolbo version of our newsletter. It will contain articles and information updated on a quarterly basis. Thank you very much Belig.

I close wishing you a joyful holiday season and much good health and success of every kind in the coming new year.

Sanj Altan