Mongolia Culture Part 2


The rock carvings from the Bronze and Early Iron Ages in the west, south and middle of Mongolia, the paintings from the 13th and 14th centuries reflect nomadic life, wars and the landscapes, and also give examples of the high level of portraiture. From the 16th century, the art canon of Tibetan Buddhism also dominated painting. The visionary character of Buddhist / Lamaist art lives on in the innumerable paintings and application works of the 19th and early 20th centuries. B. in the representation of particularly popular female deities like the ” White Tara ” or the ” Green Tara ” expresses – the prevailing Mongolian ideal of beauty is unmistakable.

According to softwareleverage, Sharav (1869-1939) was the first painter to combine traditional paintingwith the new western influences. His “A Day in Mongolia” or ” A Day in the Life of the Mongols” is still the most famous work of Mongolian fine arts. L. Namkhaitseren (1913-1992), N.-O. Tsultem (1923-2001), L. Bumandorj, b. 1954, the art historian Ts. Uranchimeg, Ts. Enkhjin, b. 1953, to name only a few names, enriched modern Mongolian art and made a contribution to the training of the following generations of artists.

In the meantime, more and more young painters are making a name for themselves. Her works hang in exhibitions and galleries in Mongolia and all over the world.

In the recent past, Gan-Erdene Tsend and Ershuu Otgonbayar (Otgo) have become particularly popular in Germany and Europe.

Music and drama

The traditional music of the Mongols uses a large number of instruments, among which the human voice is not considered to be the least important.

There are everyday songs, festival songs, philosophical-religious, historical and humorous songs. Home, landscapes, the five herd animals, preferably the horse, love, mother and father, heaven are sung about.

The Mongolian khuumii singing (overtone or larynx singing) is world-famous; it was added to the intangible UNESCO World Heritage Site with horse-head violin, Urtyn Duu (long song), Naadam, falconry and yurt construction.

The “Lord of the Gobi” Danzanravjaa, who to this day is venerated not only in his home monastery in the Gobi but throughout Mongolia, founded the first theater in Mongolia at the beginning of the 19th century. He is the author of numerous songs and singspiele. His most important work is the play “Der Mondkuckuck”, which is still often played today.

The first Volkstheater, opened in 1931 in a resembling green wooden building, had 500 seats. After a conflagration a few years later, the State Theater was opened in a stone building in 1940, which included a symphony orchestra, ballet and choir – the Ulaanbaatar State Drama, Opera and Ballet Theater was born. The founding of the State Circus also dates back to 1940, followed by the founding of the puppet theater in 1948 and in 1963 the theater was given its own theater.

Pieces (operas, singspiele, dramas) were shown, which were intended to glorify and promote the socialist structure, but also operas based on traditional materials (“Between the Three Sad Hills”) and works of European classical music, ballet and drama. The Russian influence could not be overlooked and heard.

After the fall of the Wall, themes from earlier history were added: “Karakorum” and “Chinggis-Khaan”, although traditional musical elements were largely dispensed with.

The venue for concerts, opera and ballet is the State Opera and Ballet Theater on Sukhbaatar Square in Ulaanbaatar.

Not only works of the classical international opera and ballet repertoire are performed here, but also Mongolian operas such as “Karakorum” or “Chinggis-Khaan”.

The baritone E. Amartuvshin is one of the internationally recognized and busy Mongolian opera singers.

The Honored Artist of Mongolia, the baritone singer G. Ariunbaatar made it into the round of the top five at the international young talent singing competition “BBC Singer of the World in Cardiff” (Wales) 2017.

Together with the mezzo-soprano Catriona Morison (Scotland) he won one of the main prizes (“Song Prize”).

Folklore, which of course includes the snake dances and the tsam (mask) dances, still plays a role with the Mongols today for the preservation and presentation of the traditions in music and dance, the manners and customs.

All new styles of music in youth culture are enthusiastically received and creatively adapted by the Mongolian youth. Rock and pop anyway, but also hip hop, rap or heavy metal. Popular Mongolian bands are Kharanga, Camerton, Nomin Talst, Ice Top, the girls band “Uka” and Tatar.

Since 2018 the Mongolian band “The Hu” has achieved international fame.

Movie theater

The first cinema films in Mongolia were presented by the US consulate and the Russian stock exchange hotel in 1910. In 1913, Sain Noyon Khan Namnansuren (Prime Minister since 1911) brought films from Russia and screened them in the Bogd Khan Palace. After the revolution of 1921, the Mongols developed their own film industry. The first documentary film about the May 1st celebrations in Ulaanbaatar was made in 1935, a year later the Mongolian Film Studio and Lenfilm produced the feature film “The Son of Mongolia”. This was followed by films such as “His Name Is Sukhbaatar” (1942) or ” Tsogt Taij ” that praised the development of socialism”(1945). After World War II, Mongolian filmmakers worked closely with their colleagues from the then socialist countries. One result of the GDR-MVR cooperation was the fairy tale film” The Golden Yurt “(Altan Urguu), which was not a very good one Received reviews.

In the monumental film epic “Die Kluge Fürstin Mandkhai ” (Mandukhai Tsetsen Khatan) from 1988, a Mongolian princess celebrated the resurrection, who in the 15th century helped to bring Mongolia a period of peace, albeit a short one. The literary model for the film was provided by the writer and historian Sh. Natsagdorj.

Today Mongolian directors, screenwriters and actors take part in international cinema festivals, win prizes and use the most modern film techniques.

Mention should be made of the staged documentaries by the Mongolian director D. Byambasuren and the Italian ” The Weeping Camel ” with an Oscar nomination, “The Cave of the Yellow Dog” and ” The Song of the Two Horses “.

National Museum of Mongolia

Sport and play

The products from the livestock farming provided the Mongols not only with food, housing and clothing, but also the materials for the production of many games that were not only for the pure enjoyment of old and young, but also for education and knowledge transfer. The best known, now available in countless variations in the country’s souvenir shops, are the knuckle games. They are still a favorite pastime in the Gers in the countryside and the townspeople – adults and children – play wherever the opportunity arises. Even so, televisions, hi-fi systems, toy cars, dolls and computer games have overtaken this traditional game. But by the Naadam, the Mongolian national festival, in addition to horse riding, wrestling and archery, competitions in ankle throwing are held.

The Mongols are not only good wrestlers, riders and marksmen. The judoka, boxers and sumo fighters attract international attention. The Mongols have dominated the top league of professional sumo tournaments for years. Much to the grief of the Japanese.

In 2008, Mongolian athletes won the first two Olympic gold medals in the history of Mongolian sports. In Beijing, N. Tuvshinbayar won gold in judo and E. Badar-Uugan gold in boxing.

Both women and men, girls and boys are successful in competitive chess. It is still one of the Mongols’ favorite pastimes.

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