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Mongolia

Mongolia

Geography & Topography

Capital: Ulan Bator

Area: 1,564,115.75 km²

Population: 3,179,997

Language: Mongolian

Religion: Buddhism

Currency: Tögrög



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

History

Mongolia has a population of about 2.8 million people, and the capital city is Ulaanbaatar(which is home to around 38% of the population).

Mongolia is the only place where horses outnumber people. It’s the 19th largest country in the world by area. Genghis Khan, who found the Mongol Empire, conquered the largest contiguous empire in the history of the world.

 

 

Performing Arts

Music

Among the unique contributions of Mongolia to the world’s musical culture are the long songs, overtone singing and the morin-khuur, the horse-headed violin. The most popular forms of modern music in Mongolia are Western pop and rock genres.


 

Instruments in traditional Mongolia music include:

culturalinfusion/soundinfusion-MorinKhuur

Morin Khuur

Morin khuur (horse-head-violin): The morin khuur is a typical Mongolian two-stringed instrument. The body and the neck are carved from wood. The end of the neck has the form of a horse-head and the sound is similar to that of a violin or a cello. The strings are made of dried deer or mountain sheep sinews. It is played with a bow made of willow, stringed with horsetail hair and coated with larch or cedar wood resin.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

culturalinfusion/soundinfusion-HelKhuur

Hel Khuur

 

Hel khuur (Jew’s harp): Nowadays, a Jew’s harp is made of brass or steel, but in earlier days it was made of wood or bamboo. A spring, acting as a vibrator, is fitted into a horseshoe-shaped metal holder and is called a ’tongue’. The player places the long part of the instrument close to his mouth, touching it with his front teeth and manipulating the tongue with his right hand. Changing the shape of the mouth cavity, which at the same time acts as a resonance chamber, can vary the pitch.

 

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Höömij

Höömij: The Mongols call their overtone singing höömij= throat, pharynx). The singer creates a constant pitch fundamentally considered as a drone, and at the same time modulates the selected overtones to create a melody from harmonics.

 

Some interesting facts:

  • In its prime, the Mongol Empire included most of Asia and was also spread over Europe as far as Hungary.
  • Mongolia recently celebrated its 800th anniversary.
  • Many Mongolians are nomadic.
  • Mongolia has the oldest National Park in the world. Lying just South of Ulan Bator the Bogd Khan National Park dates its origin to 1778.
  • The Mongols don’t use time units to express the time it needs for a certain distance, instead they use comments such as “the trip lasted three long songs”.

Mongolian community in Australia:

More information on the Mongolian community: