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Mongolia

Mongolia (literally Mongol country/state) 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.

Background:

Mongolia (literally Mongol country/state) 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.   Ulan Bator, the capital and largest city, is home to about 45% of the population. Mongolia's political system is a parliamentary republic.Mongolia

 

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 Mongol ethnicity, though Kazakhs, Tuvans, and other minorities also live in the country, especially in the west. About 20% of the population live on less than US$1.25 per day.  Mongolia joined the World Trade Organization in 1997 and seeks to expand its participation in regional economic and trade regimes.

Mongolia2

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Sites such as Tsagaan Agui (White Cave) in Bayankhongor Province show that Homo erectus inhabited Mongolia from 800,000 years ago.  Modern humans reached Mongolia approximately 40,000 years ago during the Upper Paleolithic.  Neolithic agricultural settlements (c. 5500–3500 BC) predated the introduction of horse-riding nomadism, a pivotal event in the history of Mongolia as it became the dominant lifestyle. Horse-riding nomadism is first seen in Mongolia during the Copper and Bronze Age (3500–2500 BC) which stretched to the Khangai Mountains in Central Mongolia. The wheeled vehicles found in the burials of the Afanasevans have been dated to before 2200 BC. Pastoral nomadism and metalworking became more and more developed with the later Okunev Culture (2nd millennium BC), Andronovo culture (2300–1000 BC) and Karasuk culture (1500–300 BC), culminating with the Iron Age Xiongnu Empire in 209 BC. 

In the chaos of the late 12th century, a chieftain named Temüjin finally succeeded in uniting the Mongol tribes.  In 1206, he took the title Genghis Khan, and waged a series of military campaigns – renowned for their brutality and ferocity – sweeping through much of Asia, and forming the Mongol Empire, the largest contiguous land empire in world history. Under his successors it stretched from present-day Poland in the west to Korea in the east, and from Siberia in the north to the Gulf of Oman and Vietnam in the south, covering some 33,000,000 square kilometres (13,000,000 sq mi), (22% of Earth's total land area) and having a population of over 100 million people. Mongolia3

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 de facto independence from the Republic of China, and until 1945 to gain international recognition.

The country 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.

Minerals represent more than 80% of Mongolia's exports, a proportion expected to eventually rise to 95%. About 3,000 mining licences have been issued.  Mining is continuing to rise as a major industry of Mongolia as evidenced by number of Chinese, Russian and Canadian firms opening and starting mining business in Mongolia.

The geography of Mongolia is varied, with the Gobi Desert to the south and with cold and mountainous regions to the north and west. Much of Mongolia consists of steppes. The highest point in Mongolia is the Khüiten Peak in the Tavan bogd massif in the far west at 4,374 m (14,350 ft). The basin of the Uvs Lake, shared with Tuva Republic in Russia, is a natural World Heritage Site. Most of the country is hot in the summer and extremely cold in the winter, with January averages dropping as low as −30 °C (−22 °F).

Mongolia4

According to the 2010 National Census, among Mongolians aged 15 and above, 53% were Buddhists, while 39% were non-religious.

Various forms of Tengriism and shamanism have been widely practiced throughout the history of what is now modern day Mongolia, and it continues to be practiced. The Kazakhs of western Mongolia traditionally practice Islam.

Throughout much of the 20th century, the communist government ensured that the religious practices of the Mongolian people were largely repressed.  It targeted the clergy of the Mongolian Tibetan Buddhist Church, which had been tightly intertwined with the previous feudal government structures (e.g. from 1911 on, the head of the Church had also been the khan of the country).  In the late 1930s, the regime, then led by Khorloogiin Choibalsan, closed almost all of Mongolia's over 700 Buddhist monasteries and killed at least 30,000 people, of whom 18,000 were lamas.   The number of Buddhist monks dropped from 100,000 in 1924 to 110 in 1990. 

During the state socialist period, education was one of the areas of significant achievement in Mongolia. Illiteracy was virtually eliminated, in part through the use of seasonal boarding schools for children of nomadic families. Funding to these boarding schools was cut in the 1990s, contributing to slightly increased illiteracy.

The fall of communism in 1991 restored the legality of public religious practice, and Tibetan Buddhism, which had been the predominant religion prior to the rise of communism, again rose to become the most widely practiced religion in Mongolia. The end of religious repression in the 1990s also allowed for other religions, such as Baha'i Faith and Christianity, to spread in the country. According to a Christian missionary group, the number of Christians grew from just four in 1989 to around 40,000 as of 2008.

Since 1990, key health indicators like life expectancy and infant and child mortality have steadily improved, both due to social changes and to improvement in the health sector. However, serious problems remain, especially in the countryside.

Average childbirth (fertility rate) is around 2.25 – 1.87 per woman (2007) and average life expectancy is 68.5 years (2011). Infant mortality is at 1.9%-4% and child mortality is at 4.3%.

Source:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mongolia

 
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