Mongolian Culture Facts
Mongolia is a land-locked country with the capital city being Ulaanbaatar, which also represents their largest city. The country forms part of central Asia, sitting North of China and to the South of Russia. Some of the landmarks of this country include the Gobi desert, Altay Mountains and the Mongolian Plateau. The Mongols have a very interesting culture, which is practiced till now. Let us look at a few Mongolian culture facts.
A major part of the population (93 percent) are Tibetan Buddhists. This religion gained prominence in the country in the 16th century. A large percentage of the remaining 5 percent are Sunni Muslims while a small percentage are Shamanists. The Shamanists are traditionalists, who worship the clear blue sky and following in the footsteps of their ancestors. However, you will find some Buddhists who still go the ancestral way.
The official language of Mongolia is Khalkha Mongol, representing the primary language of this country. 90 percent of the population speaks this language. Other languages, though not so prominent include Turkic languages such as Tuvan, Kazakh and Uzbek. Russian is also spoken by a small percentage of the population.
Mongols write the Khalkha using the Cyrillic alphabet. The most common foreign language is Russian, although you can still communicate in English and Korean, which have slowly gained popularity over the past years.
Traditionally, the Mongolians live in a tent-like structure called a ger or yurt. The ger is made in a simple design, though it is put together in such a way that it can be taken apart. The Mongols keep their items in this structure, including valuable treasures and rugs.
Mongols wear a traditional costume called the deel. This costume is woven from silk, cotton and wool. You will find men and women donning this costume in the rural areas of Mongolia. You will also encounter the costume in urban areas as well, being worn by the elderly and by the general public during festivities. The deel is usually worn with colorful hats, boots and belts.
This is such a popular pastime that you will find cave paintings that depict the sport. Originally this sport was meant o provide stamina, fighting skills and strength to Mongol soldiers. The Mongols call this sport “Bokh”. Wrestling forms a set of three skills that were considered ideal for the Mongol man.
The Mongols have an annual wrestling competition called the Nadaam of Ulan Bator. This competition is so vital that it is broadcast over TV and live radio countrywide. Smaller events are held in rural areas in spaces that don’t have any gravel. The sport is interesting, because there are no categories according to weight. This gives small competitors the chance to go against their larger counterparts.
The Mongols are an interesting group of people. A visit to Mongolia will give you a chance to learn about the interesting culture of the Mongols. Right from the language to their favorite sport, this country has a lot to offer.