Arts, Culture & Media

Video: Nisvanis Rocks Capital of Mongolian Grunge

For today's combo Geo Quiz/Global Hit, we're heading for the capital of Mongolia. This central Asian nation is famed for its arid plains and nomadic culture.

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Music not so much. Unless you count the odd throat singer.

But the times they are a-changing. The nomadic culture is disappearing, and folks are moving to the cities.

The biggest city is the capital, which is the subject of today's Geo Quiz.

It's right in the middle of Mongolia.

Its name translates as "Red Hero", which is a throw-back to the days of communist control. Its real name is Ulaanbaatar. Ulan Bator is the old-fashioned Russified pronunciation.

Ulaanbaatar's nickname today is "Smog Hero", which, if you happen to speak Mongolian, is a very clever pun: Utaanbataar. But you can still see it from space on a clear day.

The end of Communism 20 years ago revolutionized life here, and the music scene in particular.

Ulaanbaatar is the center of that scene.

Fulbright-mtvU Fellow Lauren Knapp introduces the band that pioneered the transformation: Nisvanis.

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