The word "Mongol" often brings to mind the idea of Genghis Khan and the Mongol conquerors: bold and unrestrained warriors dressed in colorful costumes, expert horsemen leaving a trail of devastation across the central Asian grassland.
However, the proud Mongolian people of Asia are more than just horse-back warriors, they are regarded as the pride of the Grasslands, with a long history and splendid culture, beautiful styles of dress, and unique customs and religion, which all have fascinated onlookers for centuries. In fact, most of the Mongols of China have lived a nomadic lifestyle for thousands of years and most of grasslands in China are covered in their footprints.
Generally, 'Mongol' classifies the more than 10 million people who live on the Mongolian Plateau that spans northern China, modern-day Mongolia and parts of Russia, and who share the common Mongolic languages and culture. Looking back through history, one can see that the resilient and intelligent Mongolian people made significant contributions to the development of China and are still one of the main ethnic groups in northeastern China, with remnants of their past glory visible in many places such as Xinjiang, Qinghai, Gansu, Heilongjiang, and Liaoning provinces.
Many people around the world are familiar with the Mongolian Empire, once the largest empire in the world. It began when the northern Mongol tribes banded together and Genghis Khan was declared their ruler. Under Genghis Khan, the clan quickly invaded neighboring territories, later moving as far as Siberia, China, and Turkey. Despite failed invasions of Japan and India, the Mongols continued their conquest all the way to the Middle East and pieced together a massive empire uniting much of Eurasia and Southeast Asia. In Chinese history, this period is known as the Yuan Dynasty (A.D. 1271- 1368) and the Mongol influence made significant contributions to the development of China.
Mongols are sometimes called "the people grown on the backs of horses" for their masterful equestrian skills. Most Mongols living on the grasslands are nomadic herdsman who move their homes, yak-hair tents called Yurts, according to different seasons. They are kind, hospitable, gentle and generous, and warmly welcome visitors into their houses. Mongol culture, as with many nomadic peoples, is also marked by deep clan loyalty, and they are quick to lend a hand to those around them in need. They are also very straightforward and talk straight from their hearts, so it is easy to make friends with a Mongol!
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