Mongolia Overview

Mongolians all around the world

Mongol Diaspora

Mongolians all around the world

Modern days, there are many ethnic groups under the name of Mongols living in Russia, China, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Kyrgyzstan, namely Buryatia, Kalmykia, Altai, Tuva, Xinjiang Mongol, Upper Mongol, Tsagaan Mongol (White Mongol), Tsast Mongol, Char, Hazara, Sart Kalmyk, Dongxian, Baoan, Sharai River Mongol, and so on. Some of them intermarried with the local population and had lost their language and heritage and assimilated into the mass culture, but a few ethnics still practice Mongolian language and culture well enough.

Dispersion of the Mongols all around the world can be divided into three stages as Middle Age, Late Middle Age and Post Modern Era Diasporas.

The Middle Age-Mongol Diaspora

The Middle Age-Mongol Diaspora started during Great Mongol Empire and its results are Hazaras in central Afghanistan, and in neighboring Pakistan and Iran. The Daurs, Monguor (Tsagaan Mongol), Bonan and Dongxiang in northernmost and south west of Inner Mongolia. Yunnan Mongols, Sichuan Mongols, Sogwo Arig, Yugur and Bonan people in China and a small group of Mohol/Mohgul in India.

  • The Daurs are believed to be descended from people who fled the Jurchens’ destruction of the Khitan state in the 12th century, who is about 132.400, but only 94.000 Daurs speak Mongolian, and they live in the northernmost part of Inner Mongolia.
  • Hazaras mainly live in central Afghanistan, the population is 2.930.000. More than 650,000 Hazara may be found living in neighboring Pakistan and an estimated one million in Iran. They speak in Persian. Today Hazara communities are facing violent extremism and always been oppressed.
  • Mogul is the ethnic remnants of the Mongol hordes, who at one time subjugated large parts of India under what is called the Moghul Empire.
  • Sogwo, Arig and Sichuan Mongols live in Tibetan plateau and also Katso Mongols. Sogwo Arig (or Sog Mongols), Katso Mongols claim to be descendants of Mongolian Yuan Dynasty rulers.

Late Middle Age of Mongol Diaspora

Late Middle Age of Mongol Diaspora took place during the turbulent period of civil war of Mongols and the invasions of Manchu and Russia to Mongolia in 14th – 19th centuries as the Southern Mongols, Mongols in Tibetian Plateau, Kalmyks, Tuvans and Buryats were occupied by Russia and Manchu, later by China. In Russia, the largest Mongolic ethnic groups are the Buryats of 461.410, and other ethnic groups of Kalmyks of 183.400 and Tuvas 366.000, Altyas 74.238 of 2010 census

  • The Buriat’s territory and people were formally annexed to the Russian state by treaties in 1689 and 1727, when the territories on both the sides of Lake Baikal were separated from Mongolia
  • Kalmykia is a western Mongolian (Oirat) tribe that migrated from the steppes of Central Asia and settled in the Lower Volga and the northern part of the Caspian Sea. In the 16th and 17th centuries, some of the Mongols who lived in Dzungaria moved to the area around Khukh Lake, others to the territory of the then Russian Empire.
  • Today’s Inner Mongolia was settled chiefly by the Tumet and Chahar tribes. The Manchus annexed Inner Mongolia in 1635. Until 1911, Inner Mongolia was only under nominal Chinese rule; Mongolia’s plan to free Inner Mongolia from China was rejected by the 1915 trilateral agreement between Mongolia, Russia and China.

The third stage of Mongol Diaspora

The third stage of Mongol Diaspora started in early 90’s, and today approximately 216.000 Mongols are residing in about 80 different countries. This is significant as for the total population of Mongolia is 3 million. After the social revolution in Mongolia, where democracy prevailed in 90’s, Mongolians started migrating out to foreign lands by seeking the better opportunities and financial advances, which is a new wave of Mongol diaspora of a distinct category compared to the previous stages.