Young Pioneer Tours

Mongolian people 

We’ve all heard of Mongolia – after all, they spawned one of the largest and most diverse empires the Eurasian landmass has ever seen – but how much do you know about the people who live in modern-day Mongolia? Fear not, intrepid reader: YPT is here to help you out.

What’s the population of Mongolia?

Mongolia has just north of three million people at the time of writing (December 2019). Incidentally, it has around the same number of horses, making it the only country in the world with a 1:1 horse-human ratio.

What is the ethnic makeup of Mongolian people?

Mongolian people: a muscular Mongolian wrestler strides towards the starting point for his bout.

Not surprisingly, the vast majority of Mongolian people are, er, of Mongolian extraction (roughly 97%). The remainder are of Turkic origin (similar to Central Asian people and the Uyghurs of Western China). Since the ‘90s, Mongolia has seen an influx of foreigners who live and work in the country – mostly Russians, Chinese, Koreans and Americans.

What language do they speak in Mongolia?

Again, a bit of a no-brainer: the Mongolian people speak Mongolian. Mongolian is the most widely spoken of the Mongolic language family (sister languages include Oirat – spoken in parts of Russia and China – and Buryat, a language spoken by ethnic Mongols in southern Siberia).

Mongolian uses the Cyrillic script, a remnant of the USSR’s domination of the region post-WWII. The original Mongolian script, based off the Uighur script, is much more commonly found in the Chinese province of Inner Mongolia than it is in Mongolia proper.

What religions are prevalent in Mongolia?

Tibetan Buddhist poles with ribbons tied around them, Olkhon Island, Siberia. The Buryat people of the region are ethnic Mongols and share much in common, religiously and linguistically, with their southern brethren.

The most popular religion in Mongolia, by far, is Tibetan Buddhism, although shamanism has a long and storied history in the country and has left an indelible mark.

Around 39% of the population profess to follow no religion.

What kind of food do Mongolian people eat?

Khuushuur – Mongolian pan fried dumplings

Mongolian cuisine is rooted in their nomadic lifestyle, and as such revolves around meat, bread and dairy, with little in the way of vegetables. Check out this article for more information on Mongolian food.

What festivals do Mongolian people celebrate?

The main festival is Naadam, which revolves around the “three manly sports” – archery, horse-racing, and wrestling.

How can I visit Mongolia myself?

As fortune has it, we run annual tours to take in the abovementioned Naadam Festival! Contact us today to book your place.

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