COMMUNITIES – MONGOLIA
Heavily influenced by the landscape, Mongolian people continue to practice the nomadic lifestyle of centuries past.
As nomads, Mongolians follow a seasonal routine of raising and breeding the five main types of stock, these are goats, sheep, cattle (including yaks), camels, and horses. They spend a considerable amount of time migrating from place to place following the most favorable pastures and campsites.
As such, the foundation of the traditional Mongolian food is meat and milk. These simple materials are sometimes eaten with available sources of vegetables.
Naadam Festival, originating from the previous century, is a festival consisting of the “three manly sports” – wrestling, horse riding and archery. Naadam is accompanied by festivities, dancing, singing and socializing. This event is celebrated throughout Mongolia, with the largest celebrations in the capital.
The Mongolians also celebrate a Lunar New Year, called Tsagaan Sar or the “white moon”. The tradition is to climb a sacred mountain on the first day of the New Year, welcoming the first morning of the New Year on the mountain peak. On the three following days, Mongolians will visit their relatives and friends, enjoying traditional food and drink.
The practice of Shamanism existed in Mongolian history for a long time. In this practice, the Mongolians worshipped “Hoh Tenger” or “blue skies”.
According to this belief, the skies are the father while the earth is the mother of all beings in the universe.
Because the plateaus of Mongolia subjected its people to the forces of nature, Mongolians worshipped the various elements of nature, praying for good weather, health, and success.
A small Muslim population, known as the Kazakhs, lives in the far west of Mongolia.
Both male and female Mongolians wear a loose calf-length tunic made of one piece of material called the “Deel”. The Deel has long sleeves, a high collar, and buttons on the right shoulder.
Each ethnic group living in Mongolia has its own individual Deel, distinguished by its cut, color, and trim. These distinctions go unnoticed by foreigners but are obvious to Mongolians.