Dolgoon Tumurbaatar performs at a Genghis Khan exhibit preview.
Dolgoon Tumurbaatar performs at a Genghis Khan exhibit preview.

Denver's Mongolian Community welcomes Genghis Khan to the Museum of Nature & Science

The Denver Museum of Nature & Science will host a traveling exhibit on Genghis Khan starting on October 16. "We're bringing the world's greatest badass to Denver," says exhibit curator Marc Levine.

This morning at the west entrance to the museum, members of Denver's surprisingly large Mongolian population helped preview the event.

Alimaa Averzed Selkin baked a traditional Mongolian cake, called Ul Boov, which is dry and not nearly as sweet as the cake we're used to. She also made milk curds, which have been a Mongolian staple since the time of Genghis Khan. The curds are made from dried milk and yogurt and they taste exactly like you would expect solid chunks of milk to taste. My Western palate wasn't ready.

Selkin also prepared a traditional Mongolian wine. It was clear and very dry. (Getting a dry theme here? Khan's army was also big into jerky, apparently.) And I was surprised to learn that it, too, had been made from milk.

There was also a replica of a Mongolian dwelling, called a Ger, and a trio of performances from dancer Zorigtbaatar Boldbattar, musician Ariunbold Mijiddorj playing the Morin Khuur, and contortionist Dolgoon Tumurbaatar. For more photos of Dolgoon, check our slideshow.

Denver has one of the largest Mongolian populations in the world outside of Mongolia, with a community of over 2,500 in the city. The first Mongolians moved to the area twenty years ago to study at the Colorado School of Mines.

Because of the huge Mongolian population here, the museum is adding a greater emphasis on life in modern Mongolia and will work with the local population to bring cultural events to the exhibit.

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