Archive Page 3

NTV Report about Hazara (In Mongolian)

Special Thanks to Mongol Students Union (MOX)

Mongol Students Union awarded us Certificates of Appreciation.

Mongol Students Union (Монголын Оюутаны Холбоо, Mongol Oyutnee Kholboo) is the organization of Mongol students with more than 50,000 members nationwide. They are very active for student affairs in universities and high schools across the country.

MSU (MOX) awarded us, the three Hazara students, with special Certificates of Appreciation. In a student event, they also awarded us Visa Cards, by which we can travel free on buses in UB city. The Student Visa Card is only for Mongol students and foriegn internaitonal students are not given. But the Union honored the Hazara students with three Visa Cards and certificates of appreciation. Hereby i would like to thank the Union’s President and VP for honoring us. We, the Hazara students in Mongolia, are extremely glad to recieve such warm attitude from our Mongol brothers.

Монголын Оюутаны холбооны дэд ерөнхийлөгч танаа.
Биднийг Монголын оюутаны холбооний хүндэт гишүүнээр өргөмжилсөн явдалд хазара монгол оюутанууд гүнээ хүндэтгэж байгааг хүлээн авна уу.

Exams!, New Year!

Dear Readers,

I am sorry for irregular updates. It was due to the heavy work-load and preparation for exams. Yes, we did our first semester of Mongolian Language! The exam went average. We did good in “writing” while not so good in “speaking” section of the exam. Mongolian language is giving some tough time to us. Its a bit difficult.

The weather is harshly cold nowadays here. Last week it reached -40C! and UB Post reported five people were dead in the snow storm. Most of the times, we stay limited to student dormitory.

The new year celebrations are just over. Starting from 15 December, Mongols celebrate New Year very warmly. Despite the breezing weather, there were hundreds of people on Sukhbaatar Square on the New Year Eve. I also joined to see the fireworks. The week before New Year, there are parties and celebrations everywhere, and almost all the restaurants of the city are reserved for celebrations.

Though late now, but i would like to wish it in Mongolian “шинэ жилийн баярын мэнд хүргэе” (Shin Jillin Bayrin Mend Khurgee=Happy New Year)! I will try my best to keep the blog as regularly updated as possible.

People waiting for clocks to reach 12 to start fireworks in front of Mongolian Parliament, Sukhbaatar Square UB.

Bogd Khan Mountain

Bogd Mountain is on an hour drive out of UB.

Bogd Khan Mountain is a famous tourist destination nearest to Ulaanbaatur (UB) city. It is situated to South of the city on an hour of drive from UB. One of the oldest parks, Bogd Khan National Park, is also situated there. We visited the snow-covered and tree-filled mountain a couple of weeks ago. The weather is too cold nowadays. Last week it reached -40C, while general during the day it remains between -30 C and -38 C.

We drove out of UB in the morning at 10am and reached there after an hour of drive. The mountain is famous for foreign tourists because of its the nearest site out of UB. Its name relates to Bogd Khan, (1869-1924) the last Khan (Emperor) of Mongolia before the communist era. There is a big restaurant, and many gers, for tourists who stay at night. After reaching there, we climbed from one side of the mountain to a big rock. It was breezing cold, with heavy snow all around. The restaurant and gers are in the valley between the mountain. One side of the mountain is heavily filled with trees, while the other side is rocky. After coming down from the rocks, we went up to the other side. The trees, and heavy snow was giving a beautiful scene. In summer, many people visit this site and stay at night. Its the nearest place outside UB, best for horse-riding and trekking.

Here are some photos from Bogd Mountain.

Ghengis Khan’s Legacy Being Reappraised in China, Russia

I came across this peice on EurasiaNet. It discusses the reappraisal of Chingis Khan’s legacy in China and Russia, where a large number of Mongols live in Inner Mongolia (China) and Buryat, Kalymok (two Russian Federal States).

“In Hohhot, the capital of the Chinese province of Inner Mongolia, there is a brand new Genghis Khan Square, featuring a huge equestrian statue of the conqueror, and next to it runs Genghis Khan Boulevard, where the feature nominally Mongol motifs, like domes on the roofs and blue and white color schemes.

That China would so honor Genghis Khan, whose Mongol armies overwhelmed China in the 13th century and ruled it for more than a century, would seem unlikely. But Beijing, in an attempt to keep a close hold on its Mongolian minority, now reasons that since Genghis conquered China, he can be treated as a Chinese hero.

And that gives the search for Genghis Khan’s grave a bit of a geopolitical flavor. Asked why the tomb of Genghis Khan should be found, Mongolians can give several answers, like finding the right place to worship the great hero, or to draw the world’s attention to him and to Mongolia. But perhaps the most often cited justification is the need to prove that Genghis Khan belongs to Mongolia.

On the prairie of Inner Mongolia, which borders Mongolia, and which is home to most of China’s Mongolian minority, (and more ethnic Mongolians than are in Mongolia proper), stands the Genghis Khan Mausoleum. The name notwithstanding, virtually no one claims that Genghis is actually buried there. But the “mausoleum” is nevertheless a significant monument to the Mongolian leader, and one that China uses to bolster its claim to Genghis’s legacy.”

Read More here…

In Hohhot, the capital of the Chinese province of Inner Mongolia, there is a brand new Genghis Khan Square, featuring a huge equestrian statue of the conqueror, and next to it runs Genghis Khan Boulevard, where the feature nominally Mongol motifs, like domes on the roofs and blue and white color schemes.

That China would so honor Genghis Khan, whose Mongol armies overwhelmed China in the 13th century and ruled it for more than a century, would seem unlikely. But Beijing, in an attempt to keep a close hold on its Mongolian minority, now reasons that since Genghis conquered China, he can be treated as a Chinese hero.

And that gives the search for Genghis Khan’s grave a bit of a geopolitical flavor. Asked why the tomb of Genghis Khan should be found, Mongolians can give several answers, like finding the right place to worship the great hero, or to draw the world’s attention to him and to Mongolia. But perhaps the most often cited justification is the need to prove that Genghis Khan belongs to Mongolia.

On the prairie of Inner Mongolia, which borders Mongolia, and which is home to most of China’s Mongolian minority, (and more ethnic Mongolians than are in Mongolia proper), stands the Genghis Khan Mausoleum. The name notwithstanding, virtually no one claims that Genghis is actually buried there. But the “mausoleum” is nevertheless a significant monument to the Mongolian leader, and one that China uses to bolster its claim to Genghis’s legacy.

The current mausoleum is the modern descendent of a tradition that began shortly after the death of Genghis Khan in the 13th century. Because the location of his tomb was secret, Genghis’s heirs created a mobile memorial, originally a set of white tents called ordos, where Mongolians could venerate him. The tents first centered on Burkhan Khaldun, the holy mountain in northern Mongolia where Genghis is presumed to be buried. Through circumstances not recorded, they eventually ended up in what is today China.

Through the early decades of the 20th century the mausoleum remained a homegrown memorial of simple tents, open only to Mongolians. After the Communist takeover in 1949, though, the winds of official opinion on Genghis Khan shifted rapidly: In the 1950s, the government, in an apparent attempt to solidify the loyalty of Mongolians to the Communist cause, built a modern temple at the site. Then during the Cultural Revolution, Genghis was labeled as a reactionary, and the mausoleum was shuttered and used to store salt.

Today the Chinese government is again trying emphasize “harmony,” to use Beijing’s favored phrase, among its ethnic minorities. For Mongolians, that means Genghis Khan is again a hero – but with very Chinese characteristics. He is not portrayed as a barbarian invader, but as a representative of the greater Chinese world, under whom China was part of an empire that, for the only time in Chinese history, defeated Europeans on the battlefield.

The town closest to the Genghis Khan Mausoleum (about a four-hour drive from Hohhot) has been renamed from Dongsheng to Ordos, the Mongolian word for Genghis’s memorial tents. And in 2005 the mausoleum itself got a RMB 200 million (about USD 30 million) makeover, including a new museum and an altar in the main temple at which Mongolians can make small sacrifices, of money, bricks of tea or bolts of silk, to Genghis.

The mausoleum attracts both Mongolians and ethnic Han Chinese tourists, who visit for very different reasons. Mongolians come to venerate Genghis and ask for help; one burly visitor, who declined to give his name, said he had come to pray to Genghis and ask for help in a wrestling match he had later that day. But the large majority of visitors appear to be Han on group tours of Inner Mongolia, on a standard itinerary that includes horseback riding on the prairie and traditional song-and-dance performances. (Mausoleum officials claim that 35 million people a year visit the site, though a recent visit at the height of the tourist season suggested that, while the attraction is popular, that figure is likely heavily inflated).

The mausoleum, in particular its new renovations, appears oriented towards appealing to Han tastes rather than Mongolian ones. The main temple, for example, was carefully decorated with 1,206 images of dragons on the walls, carved into the ceiling and painted on vases. But dragons are significant to Han Chinese, not Mongolians, as one Han Chinese tour guide pointed out. “Mongolian people like wolves and eagles, not dragons,” the guide said. “But you won’t see any wolves and eagles here.” Near the temple is a new sculpture of another traditional Chinese creature, the turtle-like creature bixi, whose head the Han Chinese visitors rub for good luck.

This co-opting of Genghis Khan has created some unease in Mongolia, where widespread rumors persist that under the mausoleum is a secret museum, purportedly containing maps showing China controlling all of Mongolian territory. And it’s also the source of bitter irony in Inner Mongolia, which has seen such heavy migration by Han Chinese over the past several decades that Mongolians, once the overwhelming majority on this territory, are now only about 15 percent of its population.

“It is like when you have guests,” said one Mongolian in Hohhot, who asked not to be named, referring to Han Chinese migration. “At first you welcome them, but … they stayed too long and now they took over the house.” During a conversation with EurasiaNet in Genghis Khan Square, he removed the battery from his cell phone, in case it was being monitored by the security services. He said that 20,000 ethnic Mongolians worked as informants for secret police, even though there wasn’t any overt political activity. Mongolian resentment is deep, he said, but not focused.

Russia, too, has a large Mongolian minority: the Buryats, a Mongol people who live on the border with Mongolia proper. Buryatia holds a special place in the history of Genghis Khan, as his mother was buried there. And there, too, Genghis Khan is making a comeback, though in a much more muted fashion than in China.

Russians, who were conquered by Mongols in the 13th century, traditionally have seen Genghis Khan as a brutal conqueror. Some Soviet historians even blamed the Mongol yoke for Russia’s relative developmental backwardness in the 20th century.

That is changing, though. For Buryats Genghis has become a symbol of their nation, with hip-hop songs and novels devoted to him. Two twenty-something brothers, Oleg and Bair Yumov, put on a play called “Bloody Steppe” at the Buryat State Drama Theater that re-imagined Hamlet during the middle ages, and said they are inspired by Genghis Khan’s example. They try to live by the Yasak, a book of laws promulgated by Genghis (though lost to history except in secondhand sources), said Bair Yumov, who compared them to the Japanese code of the samurai. “I want to be adequate to his sayings, and to follow his laws,” he said. “People say he was a dictator and a tyrant,” said Oleg. “But that time called for a leader. It should be understood that he wasn’t physically strong, but strong in spirit.”

Some Russians, too, are reappraising Genghis. Members of one influential intellectual movement, the neo-Eurasianists, argue that Genghis, by conquering Russia, in fact unified it and protected its essential Orthodox Christian character from Catholic Western Europe. The 2007 movie Mongol, which portrayed Genghis Khan sympathetically, was a Russian production whose director, Sergei Bodrov, is a neo-Eurasianist.

Many Russians still hold negative views of Genghis, and nationalist Russians in particular distrust the fact that his rehabilitation has come along with a rising tide of Buryat nationalism. There is no official monument to Genghis in Russia, in contrast to Mongolia and China, but officials in Ulan-Ude, the Buryat capital, recently did erect a statue of Geser, a mythical Buryat hero, in the center of the city.

The statue was opposed by veterans groups who delayed the plans twice, saying that Geser was “the same thing as Genghis Khan,” said Dorj Tsybikdorjiev, a member of the Institute of Mongolian Studies, Buddhology and Tibetology of the Siberian Division of the Russian Academy of Sciences, and leader of a nationalist Buryat political group, Erkhe. “So you can imagine what would happen if they actually put up a statue of Genghis Khan.”

In general, educated people in Buryatia – whether they are ethnic Russian or Buryat – view Genghis Khan more positively than working-class people of either ethnicity, said Djamilya Chimitova, the dean of the law school at Buryat State University, who did her doctoral dissertation on Russian historiography of Genghis Khan.

One Russian archeologist even believes that Genghis Khan is buried in Buryatia, close to the northeastern shore of Lake Baikal, though his is a fringe opinion. Buryats, however, are not enthusiastic about the search for the grave, said German Galsanov, a news anchor at Arig-us Television, a private network named after the site of Genghis’s mother’s birth. “What’s the point?” he asked. “We’re not going to learn anything more.”

He recounts a story that is popular in the former Soviet Union: that in 1941 Soviet archeologists broke into the grave of Tamerlane – a descendent of Genghis who had his own empire – in Samarkand, Uzbekistan. Two days later, Germany invaded the Soviet Union. “So if that’s what happened when we opened up Tamerlane’s grave,” he said, “imagine what will happen when we open up Genghis Khan’s?”

Editor’s Note: Joshua Kucera is a Washington, DC,-based freelance writer who specializes in security issues in Central Asia, the Caucasus and the Middle East.

The Great Khan

Chingis Khan has been depicted ultra negative by most writers.

In most parts of the world, name of Chingis Khan is used to refer brutality and ruthlessness. Particularly in Muslim world, Chingis Khan is depicted very negatively by historians with biased writings. Iranian writers are the most biased, thus almost all sources available in Afghanistan and that region are referred from those books. Similarly, many western writers, too, have been ultra negative while totally ignoring the positive aspects of the Great Khan and his Mongol Empire.

A book, Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World was published in 2004 written by Jack Weatherford, a Professor of Anthropology at Macalestor College. Random House Inc. writes about the book;

“‘The name Genghis Khan often conjures the image of a relentless, bloodthirsty barbarian on horseback leading a ruthless band of nomadic warriors in the looting of the civilized world. But the surprising truth is that Genghis Khan was a visionary leader whose conquests joined backward Europe with the flourishing cultures of Asia to trigger a global awakening, an unprecedented explosion of technologies, trade, and ideas. In Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World, Jack Weatherford, the only Western scholar ever to be allowed into the Mongols’ “Great Taboo”—Genghis Khan’s homeland and forbidden burial site—tracks the astonishing story of Genghis Khan and his descendants, and their conquest and transformation of the world.
But contrary to popular wisdom, Weatherford reveals that the Mongols were not just masters of conquest, but possessed a genius for progressive and benevolent rule. On every level and from any perspective, the scale and scope
of Genghis Khan’s accomplishments challenge the limits of imagination. Genghis Khan was an innovative leader, the first ruler in many conquered countries to put the power of law above his own power, encourage religious freedom, create public schools, grant diplomatic immunity, abolish torture, and institute free trade. The trade routes he created became lucrative pathways for commerce, but also for ideas, technologies, and expertise that transformed the way people lived. The Mongols introduced the first international paper currency and postal system and developed and spread revolutionary technologies like printing, the cannon, compass, and abacus. They took local foods and products like lemons, carrots, noodles, tea, rugs, playing cards, and pants and turned them into staples of life around the world. The Mongols were the architects of a new way of life at a pivotal time in history.”

Mongol Foods

Its been awhile i have not updated this blog. Because there are two weeks to Uni exams. Study load, harsh winter and learning a difficult language (script), all giving some tough time in Mongolia.

Most foreigners, particularly westerners, complain about food in Mongolia. There is no variety of vegetables here. And Mongol meal is too heavy and meat-all-the-time. But there is no good quality rice here. For me food is delicious, but less variety of vegetables is a concern. Other than potato, carrot and radish, most of vegetables come from China. Compared to our part of the world, potatoes and tomato is too expensive here. Similarly, other vegetables like cabbage, eggplant and okra are exported. Same is the case with fruits, almost all exported from China. Dairy products are very nice and cheap in Mongolia. Sutay Sai is tea with milk and salt, its like Mongolian national drink, very famous and taken with every meal.

Some Mongol foods are exact similar to Hazaragi food.

Khuushuur is very famous in Mongolia.

Khuushuur (Pirki in Hazaragi): Khuushuur is the Mongolian name of Pirki, but the difference is that Pirki is filled with spinach or minced pottato but Khushuur is; mutton or beef filled in a round or oval piece of dough (flour with water). Its boiled in oil. Khushuur is part of almost every meal. Its very famous, and available everywhere. While writing this, water comes in my mouth. After posting it, i am gonna have Khushuur!

Buuz.

Buuz: (Manto in Hazaragi): Buuz is the Mongolian version of Manto. Its very similiar to Khuushuur. The difference is that; unlike Khuushuur, Buuz is round and steamed but not boiled in oil.

Khailmaq (Qaimaq): Mongolia is the best place for dairy products. Its of the best quality and very cheap. Khailmaq is the Mongol name for Qaimaq (cream). There are different items of dairy products, very much similiar to the ones in Bamyan.

Aruul (Qurood/t): Aruul is Quroot, dried yougurt. Its also very common. Qurood/t in Afghanistan is round or oval, but in Mongolia its in shape of square. Aruul in round are found in countryside.



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