Mongolia - education
After extensive social changes in the early 1990's, the education system
sought to move away from the Soviet model and adopt a more Western orientation.
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The school system includes a preschool, which is applied for by up to
approximately 1/3. The ten-year compulsory school for
8-17-year-olds is public and free. The six-year primary school is followed by a
two- or three-year general or vocational education and then a more specialized
education of similar duration. Almost 12% drop out before the end of the
compulsory course (1992).
There are five universities (1997) and several higher education institutions,
some of which are private, where admission is conditional on a passed entrance
OFFICIAL NAME: Mongol Uls
CAPITAL CITY: Ulan Bator
POPULATION: 2,830,000 (Source: COUNTRYaah)
AREA: 1,600,000 km²
OFFICIAL LANGUAGE (S): khalkha and other Mongolian languages as well as Turkish languages
RELIGION: Buddhists 96%, others (especially Christians and Muslims) 4%
CURRENCY CODE: MNT
ENGLISH NAME: Mongolia
POPULATION COMPOSITION: Mongols 89% (by far most Khalkamongols), Kazakhs 6%, Tuvins 2%, others 3%
GDP PER residents: $ 483 (2007)
LIFE EXPECTANCY: men 62 years, women 68 years (2007)
INDEX OF LIVING CONDITIONS, HDI: 0.691
INDEX OF LIVING CONDITIONS, POSITION: 116
INTERNET DOMAIN NAME: .mn
Mongolia, a republic in northern Central Asia, the world's second largest
inland state (after Kazakhstan). The large country is dry, predominantly flat,
has an extreme mainland climate with icy winters and is extremely sparsely
populated. Mongolia formally became independent in 1921, but in Soviet times the
country functioned in many ways as a de facto Soviet
republic. Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the country has
undergone a process of transition.
Mongolia - Constitution
The Constitution of the Republic of 1992 is characterized by a systematic
distinction between the legislature, the executive and the
judiciary. Legislative power lies with a unicameral parliament with 76 members,
which in 1992 was elected by majority vote in multi-member constituencies and
from 1996 is elected by majority election in single-member constituencies.
The president, who is elected by direct election for four years, has mainly
ceremonial functions, but can also propose laws, just as he plays a role in
government formation. The executive is with the government, which is heavily
dependent on the parliament.
The Constitution states that Mongolia's economic system must be based on both
private and public property rights, taking into account both international
economic developments and Mongolia's special circumstances.
Mongolia - art
The Mongols got the religious art with Buddhism from Tibet. It resembles all
other Lamaist art. In particular, Zanabazar (1625-1723), Mongolia's first
"living buddha" (Bogdo Jabdzundamba), was known for making beautiful religious
figures in gold, many of which are still preserved in Mongolian
museums. Zanabazar decorated his art with symbols from the everyday life of the
nomads, thereby giving the religious art a special Mongolian touch.
In the late 1800's, a particularly popular painting style emerged, somewhat
reminiscent of comics. The pictures show scenes from the nomads' everyday life
with a throng of felt tents, livestock and people.
The painter B. Sharav (1869-1939) created one of the masterpieces of this
genre, A Day in Mongolia, on two canvases; one shows a rich family's
summer camp with milking and caring for livestock, the other shows
relocation of camps, weddings and parties (Ulan Bator Art Museum).
The socialist realism of the communist era (1924-90) could not destroy the
Mongolian style, which in a renewed form has flourished again.
The National Museum has a unique collection of drawings in this style from
the Khalkha Mongol Lodai, who in 1938 worked for Henning Haslund-Christensen.
Mongolia - literature
Two literary genres dominate the older Mongolian literature: the epic
narrative and the religious literature. The narrative literature, which often
has a long oral tradition behind it, is a mixture of legend and history.
The oldest literary monument in Mongolian is the Chronicle The Secret
History of the Mongols, written down around 1240. Other well-known
chronicle works are Altan tobci (1655) and Erdeni-yin tobci (1662). The
religious literature that has been created between the 16th and 18th centuries
is mainly Buddhist works translated from Tibetan and Sanskrit.
Chinese short story and novel art, known in translations from the 1700's and
1800's, and Western literary theories have been important sources of inspiration
for recent Mongolian writers, who in the past often had to compromise with the
socialist line of the Soviet Communist Party.