Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Countries: Mongolia

Mongolia is a landlocked country in East and Central Asia. It is bordered by Russia to the north and China to the south, east and west. Although Mongolia does not share a border with Kazakhstan, its western-most point is only 38 kilometres (24 mi) from Kazakhstan's eastern tip. Ulan Bator, the capital and largest city, is home to about 45% of the population. Mongolia's political system is a parliamentary republic.

The area of what is now Mongolia has been ruled by various nomadic empires. The Mongol Empire was founded by Genghis Khan in 1206. After the collapse of the Yuan Dynasty, the Mongols returned to their earlier pattern of constant internal conflict and occasional raids on the Chinese borderlands. In the 16th and 17th centuries, Mongolia came under the influence of Tibetan Buddhism. At the end of the 17th century, all of Mongolia had been incorporated into the area ruled by the Qing Dynasty. During the collapse of the Qing Dynasty in 1911, Mongolia declared independence, but had to struggle until 1921 to firmly establish independence from the Republic of China, and until 1945 to gain international recognition.

As a consequence, it came under strong Russian and Soviet influence; in 1924, the Mongolian People's Republic was declared, and Mongolian politics began to follow the same patterns as the Soviet politics of the time. After the breakdown of communist regimes in Eastern Europe in late 1989, Mongolia saw its own Democratic Revolution in early 1990, which led to a multi-party system, a new constitution in 1992, and transition to a market economy.

At 1,564,116 square kilometres (603,909 sq mi), Mongolia is the 19th largest and the most sparsely populated independent country in the world, with a population of around 2.75 million people. It is also the world's second-largest landlocked country after Kazakhstan. The country contains very little arable land, as much of its area is covered by steppes, with mountains to the north and west and the Gobi Desert to the south. Approximately 30% of the population are nomadic or semi-nomadic. The predominant religion in Mongolia is Tibetan Buddhism, and the majority of the state's citizens are of the Mongol ethnicity, though Kazakhs, Tuvans, and other minorities also live in the country, especially in the west.

word list
  • landlocked = a landlocked country or area is surrounded by land
  • raid = a sudden short military attack
  • incorporate = united into one body; combined.
  • to collapse = to suddenly fail or stop existing
  • to struggle = to try hard to do something that you find very difficult
  • transition = changing from one thing to another
  • sparse = existing in small amounts, or a large distance apart
  • arable = arable land is suitable or used for growing crops
  • predominant = the most common or greatest in number or amount

Country Information
  • location: Northern Asia; bordered by Russia and China
  • capital: Ulaanbaatar
  • official language: Mongolian
  • type of government: mixed parliamentary/presidential
  • total area: approximately 1,564,116 sq km
  • climate: desert in the South; large daily and seasonal temperature ranges in the rest of the country
  • terrain: vast semi-desert and desert plains, grassy steppe, mountains in the West and Southwest; Gobi Desert in the south-central region
  • natural resources: includes oil, coal, copper, molybdenum, tungsten, phosphates, tin, nickel, zinc, fluorspar, gold, silver and iron
  • industries: includes construction and construction materials, mining, oil, food and beverages, processing of animal products, cashmere and natural fiber manufacturing
  • agricultural products: includes wheat, barley, vegetables, forage crops, sheep, goats, cattle, camels and horses

Vocabulary of Mongolia
  • Genghis Khan — A nomad who unified the Mongolian tribes and established an empire by conquering a large part of Asia. He lived from 1162-1227.
  • cyrillic — An alphabet used for certain Slavic languages. Cyrillic was introduced in Mongolia in the 1930s and is still used as a companion alphabet to the traditional Mongolian script.
  • ger — A circular, domed, portable tent used by nomadic peoples of central Asia.
  • steppe — Temperate, flat grasslands found in Europe and Asia.
  • togrog — The currency of Mongolia.
  • buuz — A traditional Mongolian dish made with minced meat and pastry.
  • Naadam — A major Mongolian festival featuring archery, wrestling and horse riding competitions in addition to different foods and costumes.
  • Gandan Temple — A major Buddhist temple located in Ulaanbaatar.
  • oboo — A pile of stones dedicated to the practice of ancestor worship.The oboo plays a role in several Mongolian shamanistic rituals.
  • del — A traditional Mongolian tunic.
  • khoomii — A form of polyphonic singing where the singers are able to vibrate their vocal cords in a way to produce two pitches at the same time.
Reference: Wikipedia - Mongolia