At one time the center of one of the greatest empires in history, in the past century, Mongolia has been ruled by both China and the Soviet Union. Today an independent democratic nation, Mongolia is still trying to find a modern identity that incorporates its long-held traditions into a modern way of life.
A closer look 說古論今
In many countries around the world, the population changes over the centuries because of large waves of immigration. In Mongolia it's just the opposite. Although the Mongolian people have spread out all over the world, for the most part, the people who live there now are the descendants of the people who were living there thousands of years ago.
Many of the people live in almost the same way that generations before them did. These people, called nomads, live far away from cities and towns and take their animals from place to place to find the best grass for them to eat. They move their homes several times a year.
Mongolian nomads generally keep five kinds of animals: horses, camels, cattle, sheep and goats. Nomads depend on their animals to provide them with everything from food, to clothing and transportation. Since they are so dependent on their animals, Mongolian nomads are very tied to the land.
Although Mongolia has always had hot summers and extremely cold winters, in recent years, global warming has made the weather conditions very harsh and unpredictable.
Many Mongolians feel that because of this, the nomadic way of life has become too difficult. Recently, many people have begun to move into cities, where life is often very hard for them.
Size: 1,564,116km2, more than 43 times larger than Taiwan
Location: Northern Asia
Border countries: China, Russia
Languages: Khalkha Mongol, Turkic, Russian
Government: Parliamentary/presidential democracy
Currency: One togrog/tughrick equals just under NT$40