Mongolia Facts: 66 Key Facts About Mongolia

Last updated on July 8th, 2017 at 10:45 am

Facts about Mongolian culture and tradition

19. The country is famous for its nomadic lifestyle and traditions. The country is one of the last nations in the world to have such a high proportion of nomads among its population.

20. Airag is the traditional national drink of Mongolia. It is essentially mare’s fermented milk. This fermented milk has several benefits for health and the digestive system. The social and cultural value of the drink is similar to that of the wine in France. Learn more about Airag here.

21. Pointing fingers and talking in a raised voice is considered rude in Mongolian culture.

22. Standing or speaking on the threshold of the door in Mongolia is taboo, and so is lighting up a cigarette from a candle.

23. Goat, sheep, cattle, camel and horse are the five main types of stock that nomads of the region raise and breed for a living. These nomads move from place to place in search of the most favorable campsites and pastures.

24. Mongolians love children and this is why their average family has 4 children. A mother of five is awarded in the country as “Honored Mother“.

25. Use of right hand or both the hands while giving something to elders is considered polite.

26. “Naadam” is an annual traditional festival in Mongolia which is celebrated between 11th and 13th July.

27. In Mongolia, it is a practice to shake hands when someone accidentally touches you with their feet. It is a way of apologizing for the mistake.

28. Hospitality plays a significant role in the Mongolian culture. Guests are generally served with a bowl of Airag (Mongolia’s national drink). The guest is expected to take a sip or drink the entire bowl but not refuse the drink as it is considered gravely impolite.

29. Freedom of worship is a key element of the lives of the Mongols.

30. Singing while riding horse is quite popular in the country. Horse riders use a technique known as “Throat Singing” also known as “Khoomi Singing”. Singers use their throat and nose to produce two different sounds at the same time.

31. Music is used to express emotions for loved ones, horses, nature and the land. The traditional “Long Song” is a great tool for this purpose. It is a Mongolian classical form of singing in which each syllable of the text is extended for a long duration. Much to your surprise, a Long Song of 4 minutes in length may contain only 10 words while others may be up to 3 hours long.

Ger - a traditional Mongolian home
Outside view of a traditional Mongolian home – “Ger.” Image via Flickr.

32. Mongolian traditional homes – “the Ger or Yurt” are also a part of their national identity. The Ger is also referred as the While Pearl of the Steppe. The door of the Ger always faces south, because the wind mostly blows from North and Northwest.

A Mongolian Ger from the inside
Inside view of a Ger, Mongolia. Image via Flickr.

33. After the death of Genghis Khan, Buddhism became a dominant religion. Today, Buddhism is a wide-spread religion in the country and the inhabitants adhere to Tibetan Buddhists teachings.

34. The Dalai Lama is a key figure in the country and has visited Mongolia several times.

35. Mongolians are uncomfortable about homosexuality or same-sex relationships. However, the practice is not illegal in the country.

36. Mongolians worshiped the blue skies. They considered the sky as their father, and earth as their mother. Due to the fact that the civilization was dependent on the forces of nature, they worshiped the various elements of nature.

37. Mongolian wrestling, also known as Bokh, is the folk wrestling style of Mongolia. This form of wrestling is prevalent since the time of Genghis Khan who used the sport to keep his army in good shape and form. This sport is also a part of the national independence celebration – Naadam.

38. In Khalkha style, touching the ground with anything other than the foot loses you the match. Winners of the fight are also given awards depending on the number of fights they have won in succession.

Food in Mongolia

39. Due to certain geographical limitations, spices are not grown in the country. Traditional Mongolian foods are non-spicy mild foods. Various international cuisines are also consumed in the country but mainly in the capital or major settlements.

40. During the summer season, locals eat more of dairy products than meat. They also focus on consuming more drinks than solid foods, which helps quench their thirst.

41. Vodaka is a popular drink in the country. It is considered rude to not have a drink with your host when offered by them.

42. Meat and dairy products constitute the diet of the Mongolians. Because this is what is primarily available in the country for decades and is good for health as well.

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