Mongolia Monday-Three More Jokes

Chinggis Khan statue, Parliament Building, Ulaanbaatar

This isn’t a joke from Mongolia, but it’s about someone near and dear to the hearts of Mongols…Chinggis Khan:

One day an old Jewish Pole, living in Warsaw, has his last light bulb burn out. To get a new one he’ll have to stand in line for two hours at the store (and they’ll probably be out by the time he gets there), so he goes up to his attic and starts rummaging around for an old oil lamp he vaguely remembers seeing.

He finds the old brass lamp in the bottom of a trunk that has seen better days. He starts to polish it and (poof!) a genie appears in cloud of smoke.

“Ho ho, Mortal!” says the genie, stretching and yawning, “For releasing me I will grant you three wishes.”

The old man thinks for a moment, and says, “I want Genghis Khan resurrected. I want him to re-unite his Mongol hordes, march to the Polish border, and then decide he doesn’t want the place and march back home.”

“No sooner said than done!” thunders the genie. “Your second wish?”

“Ok. I want Genghis Khan resurrected. I want him to re-unite his Mongol hordes, march to the Polish border, and then decide he doesn’t want the place and march back home.”

“Hmmm. Well, all right. Your third wish?”

“I want Genghis Khan resurrected. I want him to re-unite his –“

“Ok ok ok. Right. What’s this business about Genghis Khan marching to Poland and turning around again?”

The old man smiles. “He has to pass through Russia six times.”


Then there is this little gem:

Rich Mongolian guy had a cook, one day he had to fire him. His friend says, “That man was a good cook. Why did you fire him?”

“Every morning I have two eggs, one boiled and one fried. But that stupid cook keeps on frying the wrong egg!”


And, finally:

Хyyхнyyдийн зан
Хyyхнyyдийн учрыг олох хэцyy. Oдoхooр бyдyyлэг, oдoхгyй бол тэнэг гэх юм.
Mind of women is difficult to understand. When I flirt, they call me womaniser …when I don’t, they call me moron.


Thank you to the forums on AsiaFinest for the last two.

Mongolia Monday- My Other Mongol Joke

Buuz is one of the most popular foods in Mongolia. They are a small, round steamed “dumpling” with a mutton or beef filling. Mongols make (and eat) zillions of them for their holidays. Just for fun we had a “buuz party” a couple of weeks ago. One of the guests, and the chief buuz maker, was a young Mongol woman, Ganaa, who I met when I advertised for a Mongolian language tutor before my 2006 trip. Her husband is an American who she met when he was teaching English over there in the Peace Corps a few years ago.

I told everyone at the party the Mongol joke that I posted here last week as we scarfed down many buuz and some delicious salads. Ganaa then told us a story about how a family is all sitting around a table eating buuz. There is only one left on the platter when, suddenly, the lights go out. After a short time, the lights come back on and the solitary buuz is gone. Everyone looks at everyone else. Who took the last buuz?

This has apparently been a running joke in Mongolia for many years.

Here’s a photo of the first buuz I ever saw.


I was in western Mongolia, on my way back from the Khomiin Tal tahki reintroduction site. We stopped in a soum center (county seat equivalent) for lunch at this little buuz stand. The ladies made them to order and they were delicious! They were also somewhat bemused by my desire to take a picture of something so utterly ordinary (to them, of course). This was the first real Mongolian food I had ever had.

Mongolia Monday- A Mongol Joke

near Choidog's ger

One of the many things I enjoy about traveling to other countries is learning what is considered humorous and to what extent it overlaps with what Americans find funny. This last July in Mongolia, I finally got a chance to explore this with my guide, who spoke very good English. I asked him about Mongol humor and he told me this joke (paraphrased to read smoothly):

An old man was sitting in his ger on a cold evening. The door opened (Mongols don’t knock. They just go in.) and a young man entered. The elder offered the young man milk tea and aruul. They sat and chatted. It grew late. The old man pointed to a mattress on the floor and asked the young man if he wanted a blanket. No, no, the young man said, he would be fine. “Are you sure?” said the old man, “It’s going to be cold tonight.” “No”, replied the young man, very firmly, “I will be fine.” “I can give you a blanket.” “No, I don’t need a blanket.” “Very well then.”

Morning came, the old man woke up, looked over and saw that the young man was lying under the mattress.


Further contributions to what I hope will become a collection of Mongol jokes and humor would be greatly appreciated. Please send them to sfox at foxstudio dot biz.