Furgon 4x4 van in Mongolia
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Mongolian Proverb

Mongolian Proverbs

Mongolia is the 19th largest country in the world, the second-largest landlocked country after Kazakhstan and the size of Western Europe. With a population of only 3.2 million, it remains one of the world’s least densely populated countries. However, even though it has a very small population, this ancient country has many rich traditions and customs influenced by its nomadic culture, Tibetan Buddhism and the practising of ancestral shamanism (the worshipping of the Eternal Blue Sky and the spiritual forces of nature).  Other important influences have come from the teachings of Chinggis Khaan (Genghis Khaan) – contained in his code of law called Ikh Zasag (translated as great or supreme governance and designed to inspire and preserve good management of family, society and the environment). The laws dictated respect of people’s relationships, respect of nature and the environment, of family and society, of the sky, of norms of behaviour, of traditions and of education. Combined with these taboos are astrological concepts, such as an auspicious day or hour to embark on a trip, cut one’s hair or start a business. And, of course, there is just plain superstition. Here are some of our favourite Mongolian proverbs and sayings that can help you understand the Mongolian perspective.

Mongolian Drivers

A photo from the archive! Turuu back in 2006! Now, are you ready for a quick Mongolian language lesson? ‘Mongolchlokh.’ In essence it means improvising. But improvising in the Mongolian way which means improvising on a whole different level. Our beloved drivers are outstanding at demonstrating the art, skill, and ingenuity behind mongolchlok. We don’t just employ our drivers for their driving skills and knowledge of the Mongolian roads but also for their mechanical skills and knowledge. Mongolia is the 19th largest country in the world and one of the most remote. It is famous for its (lack of) roads. Breakdowns will happen and when they do, our drivers come into their own. Owen Lattimore (1900 – 1989) was an American author, educator, and influential scholar of China and Central Asia, especially Mongolia. He describes the skill of Mongolchlokh perfectly in this quote: ‘Like so many Mongols, used from childhood to coaxing and controlling live things and to adaptation and makeshift in keeping camp equipment and travelling gear in working order, he had a talent for machinery that only needed opportunity’.

Mongolian ger and horses in Gorkhi Terelj National Park

Traditional Mongolian Proverbs

Lake Khovsgol Nuur National Park in northern Mongolia

Mongolia’s Khovsgol Nuur National Park. Khovsgol is Mongolia’s largest freshwater lake. It is also known as Dalai Ej – Mother Sea.

Traditional Mongolian Proverbs

Mongolian wrestling in Gobi Gurvan Saikhan National Park

Mongolian wrestling during a rural Naadam (Three Manly Sports) in Bayandalai, a small community in Gobi Gurvan Saikhan National Park in the Gobi Desert

Winter in Mongolia

Learn more about Mongolian culture in our Quotes About Mongolia post – https://www.eternal-landscapes.co.uk/quotes-about-mongolia/. Alternatively, see how you can experience Mongolian culture with us – https://www.eternal-landscapes.co.uk/mongolia-tours/

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