The Mongolian nation has a great cultural heritage of oral and written literature. From early times it was used widely when educating and bringing up children and this is the reason that folklore is still known to all Mongolians. They come in the forms: of tales, legends, proverbs, wise sayings, teaching, riddles, verses, poetic verse, heroic epics and odes. Since it is an oral form, all of them would be narrated or sung to the accompaniment of national stringed instruments such as the Morin khuur.
The oldest completely passed down work of Mongolian literature is probably also the most well-known abroad: The Secret History of the Mongols. It does, however, contain passages of older poetry. Works that vividly continue the spirit and style of the Secret History include such notable monuments of Mongolian prose and poetry of the 13th century as “The Story of Chingis Khaan’s Two Steeds,” “The Legend of Argasun, the Rhapsode,” and “The Wise Discourse of an Orphan Boy with Chingis
Khaan’s Nine Warlords.” The largest form in native literary expression is called “the epic,” which originated many centuries ago.
In the later half of the 19th century, a new trend in Mongolian written literature found expression in the works of the poets D.Ravjaa (1803-1856), V.Injinash (1837-1892), B.Gulrans (1820-1861), Gelegbalsan (1846-1923) and R.Khishigbat (1899-1916). Contemporary Mongolian literature began in the 1920s and is represented by famous poets and writers:D.Natsagdorj, Ts.Damdinsuren, B.Renchin, S.Buyannemekh, D.Tsevegmed, D.Namdag, Ch.Lodoidamba, B.Yavuukhulan, Ch.Chimed, L.Tudev. and D.Purevdorj. More than a thousand works by 100 Mongolian writers were translated into 20 foreign languages and 9.5 million copies have been published. The law on the cultural policy of the state aims to encourage and strengthen the development of a national culture and promote these achievements in the world forum.
It is hard to imagine Mongolian poetry without D.Natsagdorj. He was born in 1906 at a site near the lake Galuutai in Darkhan Chin Wang khoshuu (what is now Bayandelger sum of Tov Province) to the impoverished family of an untitled noble. Starting 1930, Natsagdorj became more doubtful about leftist
ideologies. He was arrested in 1932, but released again later the same year. He died in June 1937 at just 31 years old.The Mongolian Writer’s Union erected a memorial monument at his birth place in the Gün-Galuut Nature Reserve in 1981.
His poems cover a variety of topics including patriotic, revolutionary, educatory, cognitive and love romance. The poem “My native land,” the most famous of his works, praises the beautiful variety of the country of Mongolia, factually listing all sites of Mongolia including the territories near the borders.
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