Published on

A brief look at Mongolia and its history

Published in: Travel, Spiritual
  • Be the first to comment


  1. 1. Mongolia The Texas of Asia
  2. 2. Mongolia Flag & Map
  3. 3. Geography ● Mongolia lies in central Asia between Siberia on the north and China on the south. ● It is slightly larger than Alaska. ● It is landlocked ● Because of its harsh terrain, the country has few people compared to its large size. ● With its vast grasslands and herds of grazing animals Mongolia has been called the “Texas of Asia.” Nomadic Herders, Darhad Valley Photograph by Gordon Wiltsie Courtesy National Geographic When fall comes to northern Mongolia’s Darhad valley, hundreds of families load up their oxen and move their sheep, goats, and cattle over 10,000-foot (3,000-meter) mountains to winter pasture. The twice-yearly trek has shaped nomadic life here for centuries.
  4. 4. Government & Statistics Government: Parliamentary Republic (In transition from communism) President: Tsakhiagiyn Elbegdorj (2009) Prime Minister: Norov Altankhuyag (2012) Total area: 604,247 sq mi (1,565,000 sq km) Population (2013 est.): 3,226,516 Capital and largest city (2009 est.): Ulaan Baatar, 949,000 Monetary unit: Tugrik Mongolia's Government Palace sits in Sukhbaatar Square. Built during the Soviet era, in the Gothic style of the time, the palace has recently had a facelift. A lick of paint and a new frontage dedicated to Genghis Khan has given it a truly Mongolian flavor.
  5. 5. Climate  Mongolia is nicknamed the "Land of Blue Skies," because there are about 250 sunny days throughout each year.  During winter the weather is bitterly cold dropping down to -40º in some parts.  The weather during the summer varies from region to region, but is generally hot.  Outside of the Gobi desert, this time of year is marked with many rains in some areas, and it can become quite cool at night.
  6. 6. Culture ● Mongolian culture is well-known for its hospitality. ● Upon guests’ arrival, traditional offerings and treats are served - dairy products in the summer time, and meat in the winter. ● Traditionally a Mongolian, even during his absence, will leave his ger (house) unlocked, in order to allow any passer-by to rest and enjoy the treats which are left on the table for visitors. ● Two of the most significant Mongolian art forms are Khoomi singing (throat singing) and the playing of the Morin Huur or Horse Head fiddle. ● The Mongolian long song is a truly nomadic art form. It can be sung without any accompanying instruments and is very melodic, and the voices of good long song singers can carry over immense distances. Common themes include nature, family, animals, and epic tales. Photograph by Christopher De Bruyn, My Shot A young woman in an elaborate traditional headdress participates in a beauty pageant in Darhan, one of Mongolia’s largest cities. Nearly half of all Mongolians live in cities; a third (about one million) live in the capital city of Ulaanbaatar.
  7. 7. Religion ● Shamanism ● Shamanism is a "technique of ecstasy" (Mircea Eliade) in which the spirit of the shaman leaves the body and travels to communicate with spirit helpers and other beings for the purpose of obtaining knowledge, power, or healing. ● Shamanic healing is a process whereby a person journeys on behalf of another, and brings back information or instructions that can be used to provide psychological, physical, emotional, or spiritual healing to another person. ● Shamanism goes back in Mongolian history long before Chinggis Khan’s time, but it was Chinggis Khan that made it into such a fundamental part of the Mongolian tradition. ● Buddhism o Mongolians have been Buddhists since the 16th century Photograph by Carolyn Drake A novice shaman makes an offering of milk to the spirits at her initiation outside the Mongolian capital of Ulaanbaatar.
  8. 8. Festivals & Holidays ● Tsagaan Sar o The “white moon” celebrations are celebrated at the Lunar New Year. o It is a tradition to climb a sacred mountain on the first day of the New Year, to welcome the first morning of the New Year on the mountain peak. o On the three following days, Mongolians visit their relatives and friends, and enjoy traditional food and drink. ● Naadam Festival o The most well-known Mongolian Festival. o The festival consists of the “three manly sports” o Wrestling, horse riding and archery, accompanied by festivities of eating, drinking, and much socializing. o The event is celebrated all over Mongolia, with the main events taking place in the capital. Photograph by Gordon Wiltsie Judges keep a close watch as one wrestler trounces another during a premigration festival in the Darhad valley. Mongolian legend claims wrestlers began wearing open-chested shirts after a woman won competitions disguised as a man.
  9. 9. History ● Archeological evidence shows that the area now known as Mongolia has been inhabited for over 500,000 years. ● Though Mongolia is known today as the land of nomads, the evidence clearly indicates that many societies were once farmers. ● As far as we know, the name “Mongol” was first mentioned in Chinese writings from the 9th century. The Chinese described the Mong-ko (Mongol) as “the people who follow the tails of their horses according to the growth pace of the grass and its withering”. ● Only in the 12th century, under the rule of Chinggis Khan, were Mongolia’s clans gathered under one flag, becoming a unified nation. Photograph by Charles Meacham A man in western Mongolia wears a fur-trimmed hat as protection from the bitter cold of winter. Sprawled across mountains and plateaus, Mongolia has an average elevation of 5,180 feet (1,580 meters).
  10. 10. History ● Nomadic tribes that periodically plundered agriculturally based China from the west are recorded in Chinese history dating back more than 2,000 years. ● It was to protect China from these marauding peoples that the Great Wall was constructed around 200 B.C. ● The name Mongol comes from a small tribe whose leader, Genghis Khan, began a conquest that would eventually encompass an enormous empire. ● The empire stretched from Asia to Europe, as far west as the Black Sea and as far south as India and the Himalayas. ● By the 14th century, the kingdom was in serious decline, with invasions from a resurgent China and intertribal warfare. Genghis Khan
  11. 11. History ● After the decline of the empire, in the 14th century, Mongolia was ruled by the Manchu dynasty of Qing. ● By 1919 Mongolia was again under the rule of a Chinese warlord. At that time the communist revolution was taking Russia by storm. At the invitation of the Mongolian government in 1921, White Russian soldiers, running from the Communist Reds, defeated the Chinese conquerors, and took control of Mongolia ● On November 26, 1924, Mongolia became the second communist country. ● For the next 70 years Mongolia was a satellite country to the Soviet Union. ● The Mongolian government was a actually puppet government controlled by the communist party, executing orders issued by the Kremlin. ● Between 1930 and 1940 at least one third of the male population of Mongolia was slaughtered by order of the communist party in far-away Moscow. ● Religious figures, intellectuals, and anyone who might be a threat to the communist party was killed or exiled to Siberia. ● In the 1990s as the Soviet Union experienced the crash of the communist ideology, Mongolia underwent a peaceful revolution and became a Democratic Republic.
  12. 12. Wait for it……….. ………………...The Mongols