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3.1. Where do Mongolians live?




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This article is from the Mongolia FAQ, by Oliver Corff with numerous contributions by others.

3.1. Where do Mongolians live?

Mongolians live in:

* Mongolia proper, the huge, land-locked country between China and
the Siberian part of the Russian Federation (see also the CIA --
The World Fact Book -- Mongolia, URL
http://www.odci.gov/cia/publications/factbook/mg.html)

* Southern Mongolia, or Inner Mongol Autonomous Region which
politically belongs to China;

* There are about 600,000-700,000 Mongols living in western Liaoning
province. Most of them are Kharchin Mongols and the land they are
living formerly called Zosot Aimag. Now there are still two Mongol
Autonomous Counties in Liaoning;

* There are about 150,000 Mongols living in western Jilin province.
Most of them are Khorchin Mongols. They form one Mongol autonomous
county there;

* There are about 160,000 Mongols living in southwest Heilongjiang
province. Most of them are Khorchin Mongols. There is one Mongol
autonomous county in Heilongjiang. However, there are also four or
five thousands of Kalmyks (Oirat) living in Yimin County (formerly
the Ikh Mingan Banner). They were moved to the present area in
early 18th century by the Qing government;

* Buryatia, direct north of Mongolia proper, south and south-east of
Lake Baikal. Buryatia is an Autonomous Republic, the capital is
Ulaan-Üüd (Ulan-Ude) (see also Buryatia Fact File in Infosystem
Mongolei);

* An important number of Mongols who are known as Kalmyks live in
Russia in Kalmykia, the capital being Elista. Kalmyks are also
known as Oirats;

* In Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region, there are also Kalmyks
holding strong ties with their brethren in Kalmykia. Yet even among
the Oirats, groups are differentiated which has a strong political
repercussion even today. There are also some Chahar Mongols in
Xinjiang, and they may not consider themselves belonging to the
mainstream Oirat, but be more interested in Inner Mongolia;

* In Qinghai (modern Chinese name of what used to be known as Huhnuur
or Koko-Nuur in old maps - which means Blue Lake in Mongolian and
Chinese, being the Amdo region of Tibet) there are several
communities of Mongolians and their descendants. They can be
divided into two groups: 1. Mongols to the west of Xöxnuur (Prince
Lubsandanjin's group), i.e. Haixi Tibetan and Mongolian autonomous
prefecture. They speak good Mongolian (Hoshot dialect). 2. The
Mongols in Henan prefecture, i.e. those who earlier belonged to
Prince Chagaandanjin, now speak Tibetan, but are still regarded and
officially recognized as Mongolians;

* In north Gansu there is a Mongol community which is largely of a
mixed Khalkha-Hoshot origin. Some of the were descendants of
Khalkha refugees fled Mongolia in the late twenties and early
thirties of the 20th century;

These groups deserve mentioning because they do not think they are
living in `Chinese' provinces, but living in their original
homeland. Jungaria is particularly important, it is also the
homeland of the Kalmyks and Mongols in Germany and USA;

* There are about 60,000 Mongols in Henan province, mainly
concentrated around Nanyang Prefecture. They are descendants of the
Mongol army during the Yuan dynasty. They do not speak Mongolian
any more, but politically they are considered Mongols;

* A significant number of Mongolians live dispersed in other Chinese
provinces. Some of them form their own nationalities, e.g. the
Dagurs, the Dongxiang (Sarts), the Bao'an etc. with languages being
quite distant from modern Mongolian (cf. below);

* Small communities of an ancient Mongol tribe named Moghols live in
Afghanistan. Their language spoken today has only little in common
with Xalx or Qaxar Mongolian;

* There is also a worldwide somewhat scattered community of Mongol
scholars, students and professionals living in many countries from
America to New Zealand. About 500 or more Mongols live in Germany.
Many of them came to Germany during the existence of the German
Democratic Republic which is now united with the Federal Republic
of Germany;

* A significant number of Kalmyks became expatriated during World War
II. Having the status of Displaced Persons (DP) they were relocated
to Munich, Germany immediately after the war from where many of
them went on to the United States of America where they settled in
New Jersey and formed the nucleus of the present Kalmyk community
in the US;

 

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