If you love traveling and looking for the next unique place to visit, Mongolia is the next destination for you. As a country full of culture and heritage, it is an unusual travel destination waiting to be explored. But before you visit this serene country, you need to be aware of their culture to make sure you won’t encounter any unexpected problems on your expedition.
Mongolians value their traditions and ways of life. And to enjoy this once in a lifetime cultural experience here is ways of showing respect to the Mongolian people:
The nomadic way of life encourages Mongolians to be independent, self-reliant, and most especially adaptable to outside forces such as unpredictable weather. As most of the Mongolians are nomadic in nature, they live in traditional tents called Ger.
Since they live in traditional gers, it is important to note that knocking on their doors is considered rude. To let them know that you are outside, it is advised to greet them “Nokhoi Khor” which means to ‘hold the dog’, it is the Mongolian counterpart of knocking on a door. Once you are signaled to enter their home, go to the left side of the ger, since the right side is the dominant side for the Mongolian family. When entering, do not to step on the threshold of the door, and use your right foot first.
Snuffboxes or snuff bottles contain powdered tobacco and are widely used in Mongolia. As one of the oldest Mongolian greeting tradition, it is common for them to pass around a snuffbox or a snuff bottle. Expect that at least once during your exploration, you will be offered to use the snuffbox, and it is considered respectful to use only when it handed to you. Using a snuffbox on your own is considered to be rude.
In using a snuffbox or snuff bottle, it is respectful to only use your right hand when taking and passing it around. Pass the snuffbox under your nose to appreciate the aroma and then nod your head to show appreciation.
Visitors must be ready to deal with how Mongolians treat public space. A visitor may experience people bumping on their shoulders and even stepping on their feet. Do not be offended if they stay too close to you since it is how they treat public space. Mongolian people are also not a fan of queuing, so tourists must not display anger when locals cut through the line.
Islam and Buddhism are just two of the many religions still existing in Mongolia today. Visiting any monasteries, temples, or places with religious significance requires courtesy and homage. Remember to dress appropriately – long-sleeved clothing is preferred. When entering any religious building, avoid wearing shoes, sunglasses, and hats. Lastly, before you take photos, always ask if it is allowed.
Visiting any country requires giving respect to the ways of life of the locals. With its unspoiled nature and beauty, Mongolia deserves responsible tourism from its visitors. As a tourist, you need to be open-minded and flexible. Always display politeness, appreciation, and respect, especially to the native people for welcoming you into their home country.
If you want to know more about the Mongolian culture and how you can have an exciting, yet hassle-free travel, contact Discover Mongolia. With 15 years of providing great Mongolian adventures, you are in for a trip you will never forget!
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