How Do Mongolians Live?

Depending on what kind of lifestyle a Mongolian may have the way they live varies and depends on the circumstance.

You might have heard Mongolian nomads who live out in the countryside. While to a certain extent it’s true, there are other ways of life that Mongolians live which we will discuss.

Mongolian Nomads

Mongolian nomads live a simpler life out in nature. Depending on the season, nomads move from one place to another. There are different locations where they choose to settle during Spring, Summer, and Winter, etc, which in Mongolian is referred to as Havarjaa, Zuslan, Uvuljuu.

Most likely a Mongolian nomad will have a satellite TV and a solar-powered generator for basic necessities such as lights, charging a phone, but not much equipment that consumes a lot of electricity. Some nomads can however have the latest iPhones and Galaxy S, but most often than not, nomads are more or less exposed to the elements and live with the fickle nature.

You may think Nomads are poor or live in poverty, but statistics don’t take into account the sheep, horses, and livestock they own, so many nomads are in fact a lot richer than what people may believe and in a way live a better life than some people who live in the cities.

Soum or Villages

These Mongolians live a semi-urban life. While the soum or the village is not necessarily developed to Western standards, there is running water, electricity, and sewage system, but depending on whether they live in the central areas or along the outskirts, some may be slightly better off and have more privileges, whereas some others have to use an outdoor toilet or fetch water from a water fountain.

People who live in soums and villages live a simpler life without the rush of urban cities and the way of life is calmer, but education and job opportunities within smaller villages are limited and most younger folks opt to move to Ulaanbaatar the capital to get an education and better prospect for the future.

Urban City Folks

The 3 main cities in Mongolia are Ulaanbaatar, Darkhan, and Erdenet. For the past few decades, more and more nomads and people from villages have been moving into these cities for better education and job opportunities. While some come in search of a better life, often they get stuck in a difficult situation where it’s hard to get a job because they lack education and can’t get a proper apartment.

The ger districts around the outskirts of urban cities are growing every year and the smog in those areas is many times over the dangerous levels. While ger district people may live in the capital, the ger district is still underdeveloped as most families do not have access to the sewage system and running water.

Middle-class families however who live in the central part of the cities live in apartments and live a lifestyle that is not that different from most other countries. During the weekdays they have white-collar office work and during the weekends you will find a lot of them hanging out in Khuukhdiin 100, or in movie theatres, bars, etc which is not that different from most urban cities.

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