The vast steppe landscape is what influences so much of Mongolia’s traditional culture. By getting out of the city and into the wilderness, you can experience Mongolia’s nomadic way of lifestyle that is still practiced today.
Here are a few of the diverse cultural experiences on a journey of Mongolia.
* Yurts. The yurt (ger) is part of the Mongolian national identity and it what many foreigners imagine when thinking of Mongolia. Yurts have been a distinctive feature of life in Central Asia for at least three thousand years. Genghis Khan the famous leader of Mongolia lived in a yurt, and even today a large amount of Mongolia's population live in yurts - even in the country’s capital, Ulaanbaatar.
* Horse Culture. Mongolians are widely regarded as some of the best horsemen on Earth and horses play an essential role of daily life for many families. The horse is widely used for travel, cattle herding, hunting, and sport. Three million horses are said to graze across the Mongolian steppe.
* Religion. The majority of Mongolians identify as Buddhists, however since the 1990s, some Christian sects have a foothold in Mongolia and appx 5% of the Mongolian population is Muslim. The ancient spirituality of Shamanism is still practiced in Mongolia. People who seek help will approach a Shaman for a blessing and even to foresee their future.
* Traditional Music. Throat singing one of the most ancient genres of Mongolian music art, dating back to the 13th century. It takes great skill with the singers breathing and guttural singing techniques. It’s an unusual otherworldly sound. The horse head fiddle, Morin Khuur is a two-stringed fiddle that features prominently in the nomadic culture of Mongolia. The fiddle’s significance extends beyond its function as musical instrument, as it was traditionally an integral part of rituals and everyday activities of the Mongolian nomad.
* Cuisine. Mongolian food is traditionally based on the products of the animal nomadic herders raised in the Mongolian steppes – meat and milk. The most common meat is mutton, camel meat, and beef (including yak).
* Clothing. The deel is the Mongolian traditional long, loose gown cut in one piece with sleeves. It has a high collar and a sash around the waist. Mongolian deels always close on the wearer's right and traditionally have five fastenings. Each ethnic group living in Mongolia has its own deel design distinguished by cut, color, and trimming.
Experience Mongolia’s intriguing culture for yourself by joining our experienced tour leader, Suzanne Noakes along with local Mongolian Guides. The Mongolia - Steppe Wilderness & the Gobi Desert tour departs 26 August for 21 nights.