Are Kalmykia Mongolian?
Kalmykia people are culturally, linguistically and religiously similar to Mongolians. Because Kalmykia is a western Mongolian (Oirat) tribe who lived in Dzungaria originating from West Mongolia. Even today, in western province of Mongolia has Oirats which is one of native 21 ethnic groups of Mongolia. They speak Oirat Mongolian and follow Tibetan Buddhism as Mongolians. The country is often referred to as the only Buddhist country in Europe. Their native language is Oirat Mongolia (Kalmykia language).
However today majority of Kalmykia had lost their native language and heritage and assimilated into the Russian culture.
History of Kalmykia:
In 16-17th century, Oirat Mongolians moved to the territory of the Russian Empire and Ayuk khan of Kalmykia (1670- 1724) made a treaty with Tsar Peter I and became Russia’s main military ally, defending Russia’s southern border from the Caucasus and the Turks. After the February Revolution of 1917, it was transformed into the Kalmyk Autonomous Region in 1920. In 1935 the Kalmyk Autonomous Region was reorganized into the Kalmyk Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic.
At the end of World War II the Kalmyk were accused of anti-Soviet activity and exiled to Siberia. Then Kalmyk Autonomous Republic was abolished. In 1957 they were restored to their home territories. First it was the Kalmyk Autonomous Region that in 1959 was transformed into the Autonomous Republic.
Kalmyks raise horses, cattle, sheep, goats, camels, and a small number of pigs, and animal husbandry is a leading sector of the economy. Fishing also plays a key role. Grows winter wheat, corn, fodder and irrigated agriculture.