“Traditional games and sports constitute an inalienable part of the intangible cultural heritage of the world”, remarked Dr. Marielza Oliveira, Director and Representative at UNESCO Beijing Office during her opening speech at the launch ceremony of the Mongolian Edition of Open Digital Library on Traditional Games on May 31, Wednesday.

She further spoke on the importance of traditional games which are gradually being forgotten, especially by younger generations. Traditional games convey values such as solidarity and teamwork, diversity and inclusion, fair-play, and cultural awareness and contribute to logical thinking, mathematical and civic education, she said.

In 2015, UNESCO initiated the global pilot project ‘Creation of an Open Digital Library on Traditional Games (Innovative use of ICTs to Safeguard and Promote Indigenous and Local Knowledge for Learning, Development, and the Rapprochement of Cultures)” or ODLTG for short.

“With a rich tradition of games and sports, including traditional folk games originated from hundreds of years of nomadic experience, Mongolia was selected to be among the first countries to take part this exciting project, as a pilot site for data collection, along with Bangladesh, and followed by Greece and Brazil”, Dr. Oliveira said.

The Mongolian version of the online platform has been co-developed by UNESCO Beijing Office, Mongolian National Commission for UNESCO and Dissemination Centre for Culture and Education NGO, and was thus launched today. Found at, the digital library introduces 13 traditional games from Mongolia at the moment, and will be developed further.

The launch ceremony was also attended by N.Bold, Head of Cultural Policy Management Department at the Ministry of Education, Culture, Science and Sports and S.Uyanga, Secretary-General of Mongolian National Commission for UNESCO.

“The launch marks an important milestone of the project – it is the very first edition of the ODLTG in another national language besides English”, noted Dr. Oliveira during her speech. “It is of significant to have locally tailored content for the benefit of the local population, and we are extremely delighted to have the ODL in Mongolian”, she added, citing that among the 7000 existing official languages in the world, only 400 are online.

Dr. Oliveira informed that the global version of the open digital library will be launched within this year.