Due to the global nature of the Mongol Empire, culture around the world has been influenced over the centuries by a small number of sources that have grown to become very influencial across the world by taking advntage of the Mongol Empire's expansion. However, the Khanates have always retained strong individual cultures, which has always been good from a financial and social point of view, but has been a continuous cause for concern in Karakorum over the centuries.
IslamEditDespite the Mongol Empire always having a policy of freedom of religion, for many centuries now it has been softer toward Islam than other religions. This is because in the first few centuries of the empire's existance many Mongol generals and officials converted to Islam, which they preferred to the religions they were used to in east Asia.
Islam originated in Ilkhanate and quickly spread to Kipchak, which became the first Khanate to have a Muslim ruler. Islam spread quickly from there, using Mongol expansion as a vehicle to spread all over the world.
There are many Muslim influences present in everyday life all over the Mongol Empire, most notably in the official Mongol calendar, the Solar Hijri Calendar, which uses the arrival of Muhammad in Medina as its starting date. The wearing of a Hijab by non-Muslims has also become fashionable in some Khanates, though people from other Khanates can often find this strange. All over the empire holidays and breaks have come to coincide with Muslim holy days and prayer times simply out of convenience. Finally, though oriental art and architecture is dominant, Muslim art and symbols have a significant influence on modern architechts and designers.
Islam is currently the most popular religion in the Mongol Empire and Mecca is the second wealthiest city in the world (after Karakorum).
The art of propaganda or 'social engineering' has been studied and developed significantly by Mongol scholars over the centuries, and some have credited this propaganda as being the main reason the empire has not collapsed.
While in the past many regimes have stayed in power by portraying a leader as a god or an all-powerful being, the Mongols have taken a much more practical approach; the Mongol Empire is portrayed as bringing social harmony to the world, and can be trusted with any complaints or problems that people might have. This image is helped by the appointment of patient and understanding public figures. This gives the illusion of transparency and gives the impression that the empire is working for the people, rather than vice versa.
Another trick is to place propaganda alongside genuine advice. Since the propaganda is difficult to deny and the advice is easy to prove people generally believe both. For example, a poster from a few hundred years ago read "The Great Khan has discovered that the smell from dirty food causes illness! The Great Khan wishes all of you to clean your food before eating, as in his concern he would never wish anybody to become ill!"
Most people have a great appreciation for the Great Khan, leading to some Christian factions to accuse the Great Khan of being the Beast, part of the trinity of evil, signalling the onset of the Rapture. Such accusations have been repeatedly discredited and condemned, leading to prejudice against Christianity.
Since the time of world-renowned artist Leonardo da Vici, mainstream art in the Mongol Empire has always been as realistic as possible. This is helped today by advanced technologies such as photography, in which large photographs are 'painted up' by artists to include colour; it has been commented by the Great Khan himself that such paintings look like windows into another world!
To add interest to their pictures, wealthy artsits are famous for travelling to the far reaches of the empire to make pictures of the most astonishing sights and creatures. Artists who prefer to stay at home will often depict fantastical scenes and landscapes, which nevertheless seem highly realistic; some say that these artists are more skilled bacause they do not have the help of painting over a photograph, while others argue the opposite. This is one of the great debates of modern art.
Most of the modern architecture present in the Mongol Empire is of an eastern style, though there is usually a local tweak on the traditional oriental form of architecture unique to prticular Khanates. Scholars have also pointed out how over the centuries architecture in the Mongol Empire has evolved to express a slightly Byzantine style, and there is no single event that can be attributed to this change.
Various Mongol banners can be seen often on buildings in the Mongol Empire and administrative buildings are always recognisable by the Semaphore Telegraph sticking out of the top.
ClothingEditThough the well known face of the Mongol Empire continues to be the distinctive red and blue uniform of the Mongol soldier (which has remained unchanged for many centuries), there are also Mongol nobles and officials who continue to wear traditional Mongol clothing. This is made up of a padded san (jacket made of quilting) covered by a long fur coat; green and brown being predominant colours, with some gold-coloured decoration. However, this type of clothing is most suited for the cold conditions present on the steppes of Mongolia, and other forms of clothing have come about over the years.
Simple clothing made of brightly-coloured woven cloth, a form of dress associated with the Incans, has become popular in many Khanates for its good look, low cost and ease of use; a Mongol fur coat can be worn in cold conditions and an Arabian head-dress can be worn to protect against the sun in hot conditions. Despite this, clothing that ranges from togas to suits is still a common sight right across the empire.