Selenge Province


Mongolia is the 19th largest country in the world with a total land mass of 1,564,116 square kilometers that is landlocked between two global giants, Russia and China. The majority of the country’s land mass is found in the Gobi desert which has an area estimated around 1,295,000 square kilometers. Because of the harsh conditions of the Gobi Desert, the population of 3,133,318 Mongolians is concentrated in the other parts of the country, usually the urban centers. The capital city of Ulaanbaatar alone has a population of 949,000 people. Those who do not live in or near urban centers find them in the sparsely populated nomadic lands to the north and east.

Mongolia has a diverse terrain ranging from deserts to mountains and glaciers to lush hot springs. Elevations range between the lowest point in the country at 560 meters and the highest at 4,374. Temperatures vary widely depending on what region of the country you are in; however, there is a huge temperature shift from day to night as well. While staying in the northern-most province of Mongolia during the summer, the 2011 H.I.T. team experienced temperatures ranging from 21ºC to 24ºC during the day and 10ºC to 15ºC at night. These temperatures are roughly the average for the months of June, July, and August. There is very little foliage and much of the landscape of Mongolia is dominated by expansive grasslands and mountains, which do not contribute to heat retention allowing for the variability in temperature. Mongolia also experiences very little rainfall throughout the summer resulting in a scarcity of water in many of the regions. During the remainder of the year (September-May), temperatures average between -30ºC and 6ºC and the terrain is dominated by heavy snow and ice.

Despite the harsh climate and terrain, Mongolians have developed a living structure that can withstand both hot and extreme cold: the ger. Gers are round, collapsible homes used by nearly everyone in Mongolia. Gers can be found in cities, however, they are more commonly seen scattered across the countryside. The frame of a ger consists of a latticed frame used to support the walls and a central ring placed atop two poles at the center of the lattice circle. The central support is connected to the lattice using poles, which are inserted into the central ring, which are then secured by loops at the opposite end to the top of the lattice. The ger structure is then covered with multiple layers of wool, usually used in the winter, or felt, usually used during the summer. The circle at the top of the ger is generally left open to be used as a chimney. However, each ger has a cover that can be used to close the hole, keeping heat inside. Each ger usually has a stove that is placed in a central location for cooking and heat. The shape and materials of the ger allow it to provide shade and cross breezes by rolling up the bottom of the ger covers during hot days and to retain heat and keep warm when it is cold.

The Selenge Province is the northernmost province in Mongolia, running along the shared boarder with Russia.

Date Entered: June 2011

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Aartes
Arak
Buluur (Butter Churning Tool)
Ger Assembly
Khorkhog
Milk-based Alcohol Distillation
Shar
Slaughter of the Sheep
Tseedum