Mongolia Culture

Mongolia Culture and Mass Media

Newspapers in Mongolia

Mongolia has about fifty newspapers, but the spread of newspapers is small (30 newspaper excl. Per 1,000 residents, 2000). Largest is the former Communist Party newspaper Ünen (‘The Truth’, founded in 1920, about 150,000 copies), Ardyn Erch (‘The People’s Power’, founded in 1990, about 75,000 copies), Niysleliyn Sonin Bichig (‘The Capital’s Newspaper’, founded in 1954, about 40,000 copies) and Önöödör (‘Today’, founded in 1996). In 1999, the state-owned publications were privatized.

Mongol State Radio (founded in 1933) broadcasts in two channels in Mongolian, Chinese and Russian. In addition to national programs, Mongoltelevidz State (founded in 1967) has satellite and satellite broadcasts from Russian and American TV. There are also private radio and TV channels. In Mongolia there are 154 radio and 65 TV receivers per 1,000 residents (2000).


According to ANIMALERTS, Mongolia has a rich treasure of heroic epic stories, legends, fairy tales and poetry. Literature is preserved from the 13th century, but the oral narrative art has had a greater significance than literature. Religion has an important cultural bearing role. In the 1500s, 1600s and 1700s, many religious texts were translated from Tibetan and Sanskrit. In the monasteries there were also high-class sculptures and religious painting.

An interesting feature of traditional music is the larynx chöömij, which uses harmonics to allow the singer to sing a melody in treble, while the vocal cords give off a low-frequency bass.

During the communist-controlled period (1924-1990), the Mongolian cultural tradition was suppressed by the authorities. Between 1936 and 1956 the repression was particularly severe. Old manuscripts were burnt repeatedly, not least religious texts. The Mongols were forbidden to pay tribute to or even remember national heroes such as Jingi’s khan and Khubilai (Chubilaj) khan (see Ancient History). The national culture was put in the bag, apart from some superficial folkloric elements. Instead, a kind of all-Soviet cultural life was cultivated. In all arts, socialist realism was offered. Several major writers came into conflict with this. Dasjdorzhijn Natsagdorzj, which was inspired by Russian and German culture, is regarded as Mongolia’s leading author during the 20th century.

From the mid-1980s – as President Mikhail Gorbachev’s reforms gained influence in the Soviet Union – the repression in Mongolia was alleviated. When the Communist monopoly of power ceased in 1990, cultural liberation increased in strength. The position of one’s own language was strengthened, old cultural expressions were dusted off and traditional clothing, older street names and folkloric traditions were honored again. The Mongols also decided to start using their third name again, which can be said to reflect family or customer affiliation. This name was banned during the communist era and many had forgotten what the family was previously called.

In 2002, the 840th anniversary was celebrated by the birth of Djingi’s khan and in Ulan Bator the foundation stone was added to a giant monument of the historical warrior. Four years later, Mongolia celebrated 800 years as a nation, including the erection of a building dedicated to Genghis Khan in the capital.

The Mongolian filmmaker Byambasuren Davaa (Davaagijn Bjambasüren), based in Germany, has achieved great international success. Among other things, she was nominated in 2004 for an Oscar for best documentary film with The Crying Camel.



Broad coalition government

The opposition parties agree to form part of a broad coalition government together with DP. In addition to the MPP, the Justice Coalition and the Civil Courage Party-The Greens also participate in the cooperation.


The Prime Minister is forced to resign

Decides that Norovyn Altanchujag will resign as prime minister after he has been accused, among other things, of corruption; Deputy Prime Minister Dendev Terbisjdagva becomes Prime Minister until a successor is appointed. A couple of weeks later, Parliament elected Tjimedijn Sajchanbileg as prime minister. The opposition party MPP boycott the vote.


Free Trade Agreement with Japan

Japan and Mongolia enter into a free trade agreement which also includes protection for foreign companies investing in Mongolia. According to a Japanese official, Japan hopes that deepened trade relations with Mongolia will contribute to a more stable situation in Northeast Asia. Mongolia is one of the few states that has relations with North Korea and Japan, hoping it can facilitate the ongoing process of finding out what happened to the Japanese who kidnapped North Korean agents in the 1970s and 1980s.


Defense agreement with the United States

The US and Mongolia agree to strengthen their military cooperation, including through joint exercises. The agreement is concluded at a meeting between the two defense ministers in Ulan Bator.

Mongolia Culture

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