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Traditional Chinese

蒙古 - 民族 Mongolia - People

Greetings, friends. I'm so glad you are listening to Window on the World. Today we'll continue to find out more about the country and people of Mongolia. The majority of the people live mainly in the central and eastern areas of the country. There are about 9 different groups of Mongol people. Each group has their own dialect or language and traditions.

Most Mongols believe that families are important. In rural or village areas, families are often farmers or shepherds. The youngest son inherits the family home. The father is the head of the family, but the mother is responsible for household affairs. The Mongol men take the job of herding animals. The women take care of milking animals and they also are responsible to prepare food for the family. In the family, older children care for younger brothers and sisters. Elderly parents often live with the family of their youngest son or daughter if there are no sons. Grandparents are treated with great respect because of their wisdom and life experience. The grandparents also pass on their wisdom to their grandchildren. Families who live in the cities, often have both the mothers and fathers working outside the home. Young families in city areas usually have only one or two children. The rural or village families are usually quite a bit larger.

Most rural families live in a tent with a roof frame, and a south-facing door. Its average size is about 6 meters in diameter. The tent is covered with one or more layers of sheep-wool felt and a white cloth. It is easy to put up and take down. This tent is very warm in cold seasons. In city areas, families live in high-rise apartments. Some people in cities even use tent-type buildings. This will have electricity, but not a heating system or running water.

Guests are welcomed in Mongol homes. There is a long tradition of hospitality. Guests are usually greeted by the host and family members at the door in modern apartment buildings, or, in rural areas, outside the tent. Guests often bring the hosts a small gift.

I think it would be interesting to visit a home in Mongolia. I hope you will listen again next week when we find out about the kinds of foods our Mongol friends might serve us. I'll be waiting for you then. Farewell, friends!

- updated every Wednesday afternoon -



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