Mongolia meets Echo Park during annual Lotus Festival

ECHO PARK — With only about 2,000 Mongolians living in the Los Angeles area and no notable institutions to speak of,  getting familiar with Mongolian culture is a challenge.  And, despite what you may think, that platter of Mongolian BBQ you once ate is not authentic or even Mongolian (it was created in Taiwan).  But next month,  Angelenos will be able to learn more about the landlocked Asian nation as the 35th annual Echo Park Lotus Festival will highlight the culture of Mongolia during weekend-long event.

This is the first time the Lotus Festival, which will be held July 11 & 12 at Echo Park Lake,  has celebrated the culture of of Mongolia after spotlighting numerous other Asian countries.  “I hope this cultural event will be a big cultural event, [one] that other Americans cannot experience in other places,” said Bayarkhuu Dorj, consulate general of Mongolia  in San Francisco said during a recent press conference covered by the Asian Journal.

“The reward is, of course, we are showcasing something that’s new for the first time that people are not familiar with, and also bringing in a new member of the family to the festival,” added festival organizer Leo Pandac.

In addition to Mongolian dance and music, this year’s festival will also include entertainment, arts crafts and food stalls from different Asian countries, according to the Lotus Festival Facebook page.  Who knows? Maybe even one of the vendors will be selling real Mongolian cuisine.

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