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Why do Mongolians use the silver cups in daily life?



In Mongolia, you will often see men drink their tea in silver cups. Some have an old cup inherited from family. Because of the health benefits, people like to use silver cups. Silver is not toxic as it doesn’t oxidize when you serve hot foods in them. Bacteria and other pathogens cannot develop in silver and it boosts immunity. Utensils made from silver has a cooling effect on the body. If you use a silver plate while eating, the cooling effect for the body can help smooth digestion and help the body’s metabolic system. Even there are some benefits of silver bowls for beauty. They can be used to curl eyelashes, eliminate dark circles under the eyes, and heal acne. When people have a scar, we advise rubbing your scar while it’s new with a silver ring. Based on statements issued by Hippocrates (Father of Medicine), silver can kill microorganisms and is a tool to prevent decay.

Historically, during the 17th and 20th centuries, most regions inhabited by ethnic Mongols, notably outer and inner Mongolia became part of the Qing Empire (The Machu dynasty). Since that time, Mongolians had begun to use the silver bowl in their daily lives. The reason is, when a group of Mongolians was invited to a dinner with Manchu Emperors, men preferred to carry their silver-lined bowl with them for a very practical reason. It is said that when a poisoned liquid is poured into a silver vessel, the silver changes color, and the owner knows not to drink the liquid offered.

Silver cups are decorated with intricate designs in Mongolian symbols, and craftsmen had been mastering on crafting different ornamented bowls. “Sewrei” brand silver cup is popular in Mongolia. Depending on design, brand, and how much amount of silver used, prices are variable in between 100-2000 USD, one with gold plated can cost more.

In modern days, a silver cup is the most respected gift given to friends, parents and relatives, and the elderly. At celebratory times, people hold a silver cup of milk on a ceremonial scarf and say a prayer for blessing such as for the couple’s engagement ceremony to the bride’s parents from the groom’s family. In some tourist camps, when they receive tourists, they offer milk in silver or bronze cups, in that case, you taste a little bit of milk and give back to a host.

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