We’re so thankful. To our Groovy team. To Baata and his family. To 20 years of supporters. But above all, to Mongolia, its people, and their culture.
This past weekend, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Mongolia celebrated 50 years of diplomatic relations between Mongolia and Canada at the Chateau Laurier, in Ottawa. Yves (our owner and founder) was presented with one of the highest honours that can be conferred to a foreigner, ‘The Medal of Friendship’, from the Mongolian President by his Foreign Minister. This award recognizes foreigners who have contributed to strengthening the collaboration between their country and Mongolia through their work. On top of it all, they have also appointed Yves as a cultural ambassador.
What many people don’t know (and Mongolians themselves sometimes forget this too) is that Mongolia is one of the most advanced cultures in the world. They have a profound understanding of true sustainability, gender equality, tolerance, independence, community, and responsibility. They have so much to teach us. And perhaps that’s why we've always gravitated towards Mongolian gers.
Gers are nomadic dwellings developed over thousands of years to reflect spirituality and tradition, as well as to withstand harsh climates. They’re hand-made with natural materials and each one is designed to be freestanding, so as not to hurt the ground. Their intricate symbolism depicts their relationship with nature and the idea of a harmonious, cyclical way of life. Ultimately, the yurt symbolizes the connection of everything in the universe. This is the meaning behind our tagline ‘Come Full Circle’.
To start off this journey delivering school supplies to Mongolia, and arriving here over 2 decades later as a Canadian business that’s made contributions towards creating sustainable economic alternatives is a full circle moment for us. It reminds us of the importance of strong, unwavering values. Yet another thing taught to us by our Mongolian brothers and sisters.
This recognition from Mongolia has made the last 20 years even more worthwhile. We’re in this together. And what a true honour that is.
We hope to continue working alongside Mongolia to develop sustainable alternatives for both countries.