Sunday, February 26, 2012

The Mysteries of Mongolia

When I was a child, I was fascinated by Mongolia. I found a copy of the Mongolian alphabet in an Encyclopedia we had at home and attempted to learn it. I did not do so with any particular goal in mind except that it appealed to me greatly.

I have been reading Conn Iggulden's series about the history of the Mongolian people and their leaders from Genghis Khan through Kublai Khan's reigns. The first novel about Kublai Khan, 'Conquerer' was released recently. The writer does not follow the facts faithfully in every case (and will admit as much) but his accounts are lively and colourful and he describes battles marvelously. His characcters have depth and the reader is submserged in the period completely. I always experience a sense of regret when I reach the end of any of his books. I think his novels about the Khanate are superior to his earlier Roman series. Recalling far more about the life of Julius Caesar than I did about the lives of the Khans of the Mongols before I ever began to read his books, the discrepancies I found in the Roman series were more vexing to me. Nevertheless, any of his books will be a jolly good read.

It is extraordinary to realise how intertwined the history of Mongolia is with at least half of the known world. The Mongols ruled Persia, the heart of Arabia, India and China inter alia, and left an indelible mark upon these cultures.

Returning to that early childhood interest in all things Mongolian, I looked for some Mongolian recipes on the internet and discovered a wonderful site:

Mongolian Recipes

This particular page gives a recipe for Mongolian meat pockets, known as Buuz.

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