Mongolia is a country where half its population lives in two other countries – China and Russia.
Outer Mongolia lies in central Asia between Siberia (Russia) on the north and China on the south.
How Big is Outer Mongolia?
It is a country twice the size of Eastern Europe.(The Eastern European countries include: Russia, the Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary, Romania, Moldova, Croatia, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Slovenia, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Belarus, Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Albania, Kosovo and Macedonia. It has huge areas with very few people.
Where Do People Live in Outer Mongolia?
Thirty-eight (38%) of the population lives in the capital Ulan Bator. The rest of the population lives in the Gobi Desert.
Half of the Mongolian population live in cities, and the other half live as nomads (herders of animals that wander from place to place)
The Gobi Desert
The nomads live in tents called “Gers” and wear robes called “Deels” and are herders. They have to endure/survive long cold winters and short summers. The average temperature is blow freezing.
Kids must go to school from 6-18 years old. Grades 1-4 is primary school.
After that, kids can study for specific jobs. Urban children, usually have to travel very far to get to secondary school. Many of them board at school.
In the towns and cities, there are usually basketball courts, sand pits and parks. They can also access the internet and play video games in cafes.
Traditional Mongolian games are played using Shagai pieces which are bones from the ankle of a sheep or a goat.
In the Gobi Desert or out-of-town areas, work and play is done by ponies. Mongolian ponies are bred to be strong and to stand the cold winters. Children learn to ride at the same time that they learn to walk.
Horses, yaks and camels can carry people and goods. Sheep’s wool keeps people warm. Goats are valued for their coats which make Angora wool. Angora clothes are very expensive.