Modi plays Yochin, gets horse as gift


Ulan Bator: It was Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s day out at Naadam festival in Mongolia. He tried his hands at archery, played a musical instrument and witnessed wrestling in a festive mood, a day after he celebrated the first anniversary of registering a thumping victory in general election.

Mr Modi was taken to outskirts of capital by his Mongolian counterpart Chimed Saikhanbileg to show him Naadam Festival, famous for its events like traditional archery, wrestling, horse racing and folk music and dances.

Both the Prime Ministers, attired in traditional Mongolian dress, is locally called ‘Del’, were ushered into sprawling golf course where folk artistes were awaiting to perform for the esteemed guests.

As Mr Modi saw many archers, hitting the target, he could not hold him back. He picked up a bow, put an arrow on it, pulled its string with full force and released it towards the target.

The Mongolian Prime Minister and an archer helped Mr Modi. After getting partial success in first attempt, Mr Modi took the second arrow, called ‘soum’ in Mongolia, put it on ‘harwah’ (Mongolian name for bow) and released it to hit the target, almost.

Mr Modi was subsequently attracted to a fascinating musical instrument called Yochin, which was being played by folk artistes.

Unmindful of criticism he had to face after he tried his hands on drums during his Japan visit, Mr Modi picked up sticks in both hands and started playing the instrument, which was very similar to India’s Santoor.

Closing his eyes, he concentrated his ears on the music which was coming out strings of Yochin as the Mongolian Prime Minister and folk artistes watched in admiration.

At the end, Mr Modi distributed awards to the winners of wrestling and horse racing events.

The Indian Prime Minister was pleasantly surprised, when his Mongolian counterpart announced that Mr Modi was being gifted a horse for participating in the Naadam Festival.