Cranes

Cranes are large, long-legged, long-necked wading birds. there are 15 species of cranes in the world and 7 of them spend warm seasons in Mongolia. 
By the end of March, beginning of April, crane pairs start flying in from warm parts China and Japan to have their young ones in parts of Mongolia. 
As wetlands thaw, cranes lay eggs (usually two per nest) and by early June chicks come out to explore the surrounding. 
You can observe these beautiful creatures when driving through Khangai regions of Mongolia.

Education system in Mongolia

The first Education Law of Mongolia was adopted in 1968. In July 1991, and June 1995, the Parliament of Mongolia revised the law and approved the amendments to the Education Law. The law provides that:

Education shall be under government supervision.

Basic education shall be compulsory.

General education provided through state school (elementary or basic education, secondary education) shall be free.

Various options in the forms and organization of education shall be made available, and these options shall be free and open. Thus the legal basis for a new educational system in Mongolia based on interest, ability and the needs of citizens has been formed.

Mongolian religious history

Mongolia is a country of a unique symbiosis of various religions. Mongolians traditionally having professed polytheistic religion remain remarkably tolerant in regards to one’s faith and beliefs. Democratic principle of freedom of religion has always been ensured and guaranteed by the lifestyle traditions and mentality of people living in Mongolia. Shamanism is indigenous religion of Mongols. From time immemorial it has been practiced in Mongolia. Shamanism embraces a belief in powerful spirits who can influence people’s lives and fate. Today shamanism is on the blink of ceasing to exist with only few superficial rituals being practiced in some out of the away places. Buddhism of Mongolia Lamaism has many followers in today’s Mongolia. According to chronicles, Buddhism came to Mongolia round the 3rd century B.C as religion of the court. Between 6-11 centuries, many Buddhism sutras were translated into Mongolian and in the 13th century the very first Buddhist temples were built. Chinggis Khan encouraged Buddhism and Islamic devotions. Khubilai khan is alleged to have first confirmed a title of Dalai Lama from upon a Lama from Tibet. (Dalai Lama in Mongolian means a monk of immeasurable knowledge) The first Dalai Lama converted Mongolian King Altan Khan and his subjects to Buddhism in 1578. During the rule of Altai Khan the famous monastery of ErdeneZuu was built, which is now a popular tourist destination. In the Western part of Mongolia, Islam is professed by the Kazakhs. Today various forms of Christianity are being introduced by Western missionaries.

How to greet in Mongolia

When a visitor spots or approaches a ger he says “Nokhoi khorioroi” which literally means “call off the dog”. A hostess or a child usually comes out and invites the guest into a Ger.  The visitor should not carry a whip, hobble or weapon when he comes in and he hangs his knife from the belt.  The visitor normally does not knock on the door. He crosses the threshold with the right foot. A guest greets inside, not outside. In Mongolia, the younger usually greets first and asks “Ta sain baina uu” which means “how are you” “how do you do”. Mongols living in the countryside are not used to shaking hands with visitors: instead, they greet by stretching their arms if they see each other for the first time in the year.

The period of Hunnu State

Mongol, Turk and Jurchen races had been living in the Mongolian territory from ancient times. They alternatively ruled over each other. However the first politically organized community was the Hunnu State. It was the prototype of the states of Mongolia. According to the chronicles, there was a nomadic tribe Khu in the 5th century BCE. The people was engaged in animal husbandry and each tribe had its chief cleric. They formed a confederation of tribes. Those were the Hunnu people who became particularly prosperous in the 4th century BCE. The confederation annexed 24 Hunnu aimags. Tumen was named of the Khaan of the Hunnu. Tumen belonged to the aristocratic family of the Khian tribe. It was since that period that Khaan ceased to be elected at the conference, but became a dynastic title. Hunnu people fell victims of the aggressive policy pursued by the Ching dynasty, and aimed at expanding the territory to the north. The Hunnus were driven far from the Ordos territory. The Chinese fortified their new Great Wall. Tumen khaan made unsuccessful attempts to unite various Hun aimags and organize the state. Tumen Khaan, induced by his young wife, made his son by his youngest wife, the heir to the throne. But his elder son Modun, assassinated both his father and his younger sibling and seized the throne in 209 BCE. The Hunnu state was not a merely Mongol State. It was the first organized State among the nomadic people of the Central Asia. Modun khaan annexed the territories in the north and west. In 200 BCE he defeated the Chinese. In 198 BCE Modun khaan conquered western Turkestan and controlled the trade road, which connected the West and East. The Hunnu State developed into great power. The territory of the Hunnu State extended from the Ordos to the lake Baikal, and from the Khyangan mountain range to the Altai mountain range. However, the Hun Dynasty of China had been consistently pursuing on the “divide and rule” policy, which in the end brought to the breakup of the Hunnu State in 48 BCE, and further collapse.

Driving tips in Ulaanbaatar

If you ever have a situation to drive in Ulaanbaatar, here are some required information for you. 
1. Ulaanbaatar has around 600,000 cars and approximately 400,000 vehicles to get into the traffic per day. 
2. 1st lane is only for buses, lined buses, and the taxies. 
3. The personal vehicles are not allowed to participate in traffic for a day between 8am to 8pm in a week, it depends on vehicle’s plate number. For example: if it ends with 1 or 6 will be on Monday, 2 or 7 on Tuesday etc. 
4. Speed limit in the city – 60kmh or 37.2mph 
5. Drive on the right side 
6. Driver’s license required, starting from 18 years old (motorcycle is 16) 
7. If driver is carrying a baby in a car, kid’s seat belt or baby chair is required for children under 12.

Public transportation services in Ulaanbaatar

Public transportation services have been working under the several options in Ulaanbaatar city such as bus, taxi, and lined bus etc. And these services are comparatively easy to take and understand, for example, you can take a taxi by the road merely by lifting your arm. Also taking a bus is same as taking a bus foreign countries, simply with card scan system. You can get a bus card at every bus stop from newspaper booths with a sign “U” or (u money card). Taxi services are provided by taxi service companies and individuals who own cars. For tourists we suggest you to use official taxi company service. Generally all transportation services are safe for tourists and foreigners. Travel safe!

Mongolian New Year (Tsagaan sar)

Mongolian Lunar 🌙 New Year, Tsagaan sar is one of the two main celebrations of Mongolia 🇲🇳 (other one Naadam Festival). It is nomads celebration for successfully surpassing the harsh cold winter months ❄️ and finally greeting the warm spring 🌱 . Families living in remote areas visit their elderly relatives and celebrate the beginning of spring. All kinds of delicious food 🍲🥘🥙 are prepared and the feast can continue for few days. It is a national celebration that brings together families and relatives together.

Shamanism

Shamanism

Shamanism is the very first faith that existed before religion in ancient Mongolia. Nowadays some people still believe and worship this religion (Mongolians don’t consider Shamanism as a religion, but see it as spiritual connection between human, natures). Therefore, people ask about their destiny, and solutions to issues, even diseases such as cancer, rheumatism and mental illness, etc. The northwestern part of Mongolia (people who live in deep forests) is famous of Shamanism.

 

Snow Leopard

Mongolia is home to the second largest population of snow leopards in the world