In the last journal, you read a story about Bulat (boo-LAHT) and his family (if you missed the story, find it here). They are part of an unreached Tibetan Buddhist people group in Siberia–the Buryat (BOO-ree-aht). Enjoy learning a common Buryat greeting with your family.
During the New Year’s season, Buryat families celebrate together and greet one another with good wishes for the coming year. Then, younger family members present gifts to their older relatives. Gifts are placed on a long silk scarf called a khadak (HAH-dahk). The younger relative drapes this scarf between their hands and, using it like a tray, hands the gift to their elder relative. Green tea is the most common gift. Tea is an important part of Buryat culture and is always served with lots of milk. Try a common greeting that is named after the Buryat New Year, Sagaalgan (SAH-gal-gahn). You will need:
-box of tea or tea bag
-hot tea with milk
- Parents: Stand with both arms at your sides. Bend your elbows and put your hands straight out in front of you, palms up.
- Child: Stand facing your mother or father. Put your arms under your parent’s arms, lightly holding their elbows.
- Parent: Stay in position, resting your arms on top of your child’s arms.
- Parent and child: Greet each other with this word: “Sagaalganaar” (SAH-gal-gahn-are), meaning “Happy New Year.”
- Repeat until every child has a turn to greet a parent.
- Child: Have a helper drape the scarf across your outstretched arms and place the box of tea on top of the scarf.
- Parent: Repeat direction #1.
- Child with scarf: Stand facing your mother or father. Transfer the scarf holding the tea from your arms to their outstretched arms.
- Afterwards, sit down together and drink some tea with milk. Pray for Buryat families to have the opportunity to hear that through Jesus, God has made a way for them to be welcomed into His family.