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Mongolia

Монгол Улс

Population: 3,228,000

Area (sq km): 1,564,116

Capital City: Ulaanbaatar

National Holiday: 1911-12-29

Mongolia (officially Mongol Uls, when Latinised) is a country located in Eastern Asia. It is bordered by Russia on the North, and China on the South. Mongolia is divided into 22 subdivisions: 21 provinces, and one capital city.

The capital of Mongolia is the city of Ulaanbaatar in the North-central area of the country, with about half of the population living there. The rest of the population is rather spread out along mostly the Northern half of the country. Interestingly, about 30% of Mongolians are at least semi-nomadic.

Mongolia is mostly covered by the Gobi Desert, which is one of the richest sources of fossils in the world.

Mongolia gained independence from China on 29 December 2011 (but wasn't officially independent until 1924).

The current Mongolian flag was adopted in 1922. The yellow symbol on the left of the flag is the national emblem called a soyombo. It's a columnar arrangement of abstract and geometric representations for (going from top to bottom): fire - symbol of wealth, growth, and success. The three flames represent the past, present, and future ; the sun and moon - symbol of the existence of Mongolia for eternity; triangles - as an arrow, pointed down to represent the defeat of enemies; horizontal rectangles - representing the honesty and justice of the Mongolian people, whether they be at the top or bottom of society; the yin-yang symbol - seen as two fish, represent vigilance, as fish never close their eyes; vertical columns - walls of a fort representing unity and strength. The blue of the flag represents the sky, and the red symbolizes progress and prosperity.

Mongolia is Latin for "Land of the Mongols"; the Mongolian name Mongol Uls translates to "Mongol State". The source of the word Mongol is less known, and could be: the name of a mountain or river; a changed form of of the religious term Mongkhe-tengri-gal, which translates to "Eternal Sky Fire"; or a form of Mugulü, the founder of the original tribe that inhabited what is now Mongolia.

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