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Culture

The Do's and Don'ts in Mongolia. Mongolian Customs & Etiquette.

mongolia

Mongolia has many amazing traditions, customs and values that are unusual for people brought up and living in other countries. Mongolians themselves do not impose their rules of behavior on guests. But in order not to disappoint the hospitable people, going to Mongolia, it is worth getting acquainted not only with the sights of the country and outline what you should do, but also learn about what you should not do there at all.

 

 

Ayana Zholdoshbek

15 January 2024

Basis Do's and Don'ts:

 Carelessly handing over money to another person

According to customs, before handing over the bills, they are straightened by turning the portrait of Genghis Khan (or Sukhe-Bator) outward. The back of the head of the person depicted on the portrait should be turned to the recipient. The money is handed over with the right hand (as a sign of special respect - with both hands on open palms).

It is not acceptable to refuse a meal

Hosts never ask a guest if he will have tea or a treat - he is simply invited to the table. In this case, the guest should not refuse the offer and all the treats put on his plate should eat, so as not to offend the hosts.

Take off the hat

Men in Mongolia enter the premises wearing hats and showing respect. In some homes, the host even specially tips his hat when welcoming guests.

You cannot wear a national costume without a belt

Many tourists, especially first-time visitors to Mongolia, want to try on the local national costumes. Many try to wear only part of the costume, most often ignoring the belt.

However, wearing a traditional robe with the sash open is considered vulgar and indecent by Mongolians.

  • Genghis Khan is revered as a holy man, so any jokes about him are strongly condemned.
  • It is not allowed to cross the road in front of elders, elderly people. This is an insult and disrespect to the elders. It is not allowed to look askew, get angry, poke, swear, take out your bad mood on your father and mother. Offending elders is as much a sin as depriving a living being of life. The elders are to be given seats, the first to be served food, and never to be patted on the shoulder as a farewell or greeting.
  • It is not allowed to come to a guest with empty dishes. It is necessary to put something in the dishes so that happiness from the yurt was not taken away in empty dishes.
  • It is not customary to leave tea leftovers on the bottom of the bowl and to throw leftovers and scraps into the cup.
  • When giving a treat, one should not take it with one hand, as a sign of respect it is customary to take the treat with two hands.
  • It is not customary for Mongols to enter a yurt without asking their hosts. It is not allowed to enter the yurt quietly, inaudibly, looking around. It is necessary to make a voice or cough. In this way the guest makes the hosts realize that he has no hostile intentions.
  • If one person accidentally steps on another person's foot, the guilty party must apologize and shake hands.
  • It is not customary to ask a guest questions, and he should not be in a hurry to give out all the information about himself.
  • It is not acceptable to pay attention to a woman breastfeeding in a public place.
  • It is forbidden to harm, to catch or kill young birds, to cut down young trees near springs, to tear plants and flowers unnecessarily, to throw garbage, to leave overturned turf, garbage, unextinguished fires, etc.

We wish you a pleasant trip to a wonderful country called Mongolia, but do not forget to follow the rules of behavior and respect other people's culture!

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