Sunday, June 25, 2006  

Quick! Name an Asian country that starts with M!

Courtesy of the The Guardian:
The facts: 10 things you never knew about Mongolia

1 In one Ulaanbaatar nightclub you can dance with Stalin - at least with his statue. A 12ft-high monument of the Soviet dictator disappeared from the national library, only to appear on the dance floor four years later.

2 Mongolia, which is the size of Britain, Germany, Italy and France put together, has the lowest population density of any country in the world.

3 Foreign diplomats are banned from taking domestic flights with MIAT, the national carrier, because its planes are considered too dangerous.

4 Before taking the first sip from your glass of vodka, it is polite to dip the knuckle of your ring finger into the drink.

5 Passengers find the step up on to the public buses donated by the Japanese too high. The joke is that the donors were confused by a mistranslated document that said Mongolians had high steppes.

6 Throat singing, in which the performer is able to activate two parts of the voice box simultaneously, is popular.

7 Yak polo is becoming one of the nation's favourite sports.

8 Everyone has heard of the Gobi Desert. But "gobi" just means "desert", and Mongolians say the country has 33 kinds of gobi.

9 Roy Chapman Andrews, a maverick archaeologist who found fossilised dinosaur eggs in the Gobi Desert in 1933, is the model for Indiana Jones in Raiders of the Lost Ark.

10 Mongolia is the only place where true wild horses still live.

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