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Family values and the traditional structure of Mongolian families in the countryside

Updated: Nov 29, 2022

For centuries, most Mongolians lived as nomads depending on the livestock. Herder families live in a Ger- which means “home” a small mobile portable dwelling. All the family members happily share everything and relationally close together. Nomadic people have a very different lifestyle than Western cultures, so if you stay with a Mongolian family during your travel in Mongolia, it’s important to learn about cultures and specific etiquette before you go, so as to avoid any awkward cultural blunders.

Families are typically fairly tight-knit and interdependent. They are usually with two or more children. Mothers who give birth to four children or more are rewarded with an “honored mother” award. Extended families typically live near or with each other. This network offers extensive support to the family members.

At the same time, families followed "strong hierarchical relations according to which the elderly tells how the young should live and behave. Respect for the elderly was expected from everyone, but especially from the young.

The parents were mainly responsible for disciplining growing children though sometimes older siblings or other relatives of the extended family were permitted to express their views. Although fathers make important decisions for their children, mothers had more influence and communication with the children on a daily basis.

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