Mongolian Culture

Mongolian Way of Greeting: Greeting with a snuffing bottle

Snuffing bottle

Greeting With a Snuffing Bottle

The snuff bottle is one of the main ornaments of men that symbolizes Mongolian behavior. Rarely used by women. Mongolians have a long tradition of swapping their snuff bottles to greet each other. Even modern Mongolians in urban areas, who have stopped using snuff bottles, use snuff bottles on Lunar New Year’s Eve and respect each other. When greeting the snuff bottle, the head of the snuff bottle should be loosened and the snuff bottle should be held in the palm of the hand. They take a snuff bottle, sniff it, swap it back. It is an expression of mutual respect and friendship. It is a sign that everyone is warmly welcoming each other.

After the guest enters the house and sit, he greets the host by exchanging snuff bottles in accordance with the ancient custom of snuffing. The snuff bottle is called “Smoking Yellow”, “Healthy Yellow”, and “Powder of Greetings”. If you hit the others snuff bottle by yours, especially on Lunar New Year’s Day, is a sign of disharmony and broken oaths Place the snuff bottle on the tips of the four fingers of the right hand and hold it to the person you are honoring. Holding the snuff bottle, including the thumb, forefinger, and middle finger, is in accordance with ancient Mongolian tradition. When holding, place your thumb on the head of the bellows. Mongolians consider this holding style to be the “three pillars of the state”. The head of the snuff bottle is considered the king, the right part the queen, and the left part the military weapon. Therefore, it is a sign that the person’s greetings are being received at the state level.

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