Happy Mongolian Halloween!

The list of things I did not expect to find in Khovd was a fairly long one that included everything from “hot showers” to “trees,” with “any semblance of American holidays” coming in at number 1. I mean, Germany doesn’t do Halloween, so why would a technically-Buddhist country with fewer inhabitants than the state of Kansas? Turns out we have hot showers and trees and, as I discovered on Thursday night, a pretty bangin’ Halloween with a distinctly Central Asian flair.

The Halloween party is hosted each year by the sophomores. This year, it took place in a local restaurant, except when I got there I discovered the local restaurant also had a club attached to it and that’s where the party was. The students sat at big round tables according to their year, but since the teacher’s table was relatively empty, Other English Teacher and I got absorbed by my seniors which was cool because they’re cool.

A petty solid percentage of the students came in costume, and they were actually pretty good costumes. There were lots of zombies and monsters and at least one toilet-paper mummy, which was my personal favorite. A representative of each class came up and said something/sang a song, most of which were in English and one of which was in Kazakh. As far as refreshments went, it was water, juice, and penis cookies that were unabashedly penis cookies. Even when you cocked (ha) your head and squinted, they still looked like penis cookies. Mostly because they were penis cookies.

Then the dancing music came on, and I immediately assumed the defensive position–cup of water in one hand, penis cookie in the other, so clearly way too busy to show off my mad moves. Unfortunately everybody got up to dance, so my ruse only worked for about fifteen seconds before one of my seniors hauled me up onto the floor and threw me in the middle of a dance circle, which is how half the university discovered I am much better suited to eating cookies shaped like genitals than dancing.

There was a costume contest, a Conga line to that Mama Maria song, musical chairs (which I did not take part in), and some game that required moving nuts from one bowl to another via a spoon held in your mouth that I really sucked at so I just started cheating. And, of course, an endless supply of penis cookies. Overall it was a highly entertaining night that concluded with my students taking eight million pictures with me because reasons.

Actual Halloween was Other English Teacher’s birthday, so I baked him a cake that turned out pretty well considering my limited baking ingredients, and we had a party at my place. Happy Halloween, everyone!


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