Mongolian way of life under threat in China

Discussion in 'China' started by Ray, Feb 7, 2014.

  1. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Mongolian way of life under threat in China

    A centuries-old tradition of herding livestock in the Chinese region of Inner Mongolia could be under threat from new business and production methods, herdsmen are warning.

    Inner Mongolia is rich in gas and rare earth deposits, and a quarter of China's domestic coal production comes from there.

    But many ethnic Mongolian people say the pursuit of such resources is destroying the grasslands they rely on.

    Sweeping change across China's Inner Mongolia

    Gas and coal extraction are depriving herdsman of traditional land rights
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    Traditional music floated across the freezing grasslands that stretched far into the distance.

    Inner Mongolia is China's strategic frontier and home to its Mongolian ethnic minority.

    They are the descendants of the Mongol warrior, Genghis Khan, who on horseback eight centuries ago swept across much of Asia, creating one of the world's greatest empires.

    Today, the Mongolians still celebrate their traditions at nadaams - or traditional games.

    Hundreds watched as a train of camels swept into a small stadium on the grasslands, their hooves kicking up the snow. Some of the animals pulled wooden sleighs with children sitting in them.

    They were ridden by Mongolian herdsmen wearing traditional blue, green and red lambskin outfits to protect them from the bitter winter cold.

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    'Nation will vanish'
    Throughout the day, the crowd watched camel racing, archery on horseback, and traditional wrestling.

    But most of this was for show. The nomadic way of life is fast disappearing.

    Many of the Mongolians arrived at the event in fancy four-wheel drive vehicles.

    Looming in the background, smoke from chimney stacks curled up into the blue sky - there is no escaping the modern world here.

    A resource boom is bringing sweeping change to the region.

    "Mining is destroying our environment," Tsogjavkhlan, a university student, told me.

    "Maybe in the future we won't have a place to live like traditional Mongolians. Our nation will vanish - the Mongolians will vanish."

    Occupying 12% of the country's land mass, Inner Mongolia is rich in resources - coal, gas, rare earth metals - which are being mined to fuel China's breakneck economic growth.

    The region now accounts for a quarter of domestic coal production.

    But the huge mining projects have scarred the landscape and brought pollution to a once pristine region. Mongols say that mining, along with desertification, is ruining their grasslands.

    [​IMG]

    'They're lost'
    The unprecedented mining boom has also brought a wave of Han Chinese migration to the region.

    Mongolians who have populated the region for centuries are now just 20% of the population. Some Mongolians say they are missing out on the lucrative boom.

    They also worry that the constant migration is diluting their culture, language and traditions.

    There were rare protests in several cities across the region in 2011. They were triggered by the death of a herdsman who was protesting against a mining project.

    Human rights groups say the demonstrations highlighted the discord in the region and the failure of China's policies towards national minorities.

    Beijing stresses that economic development in the region has improved the lives of millions.

    And many Mongols welcome the opportunities that come with development. Life is now far easier in the towns and the cities than the harsh realities of the grasslands and life in traditional tents.

    One female student at the games said she was studying Food Science and Technology at university.

    "Not many ethnic Mongolians study this subject," she told me. "I'm living my dream."

    An hour's drive away from the winter games, we met a herdsman. Naranmandura tends his 400 sheep, 10 cows and four horses on the vast grasslands.

    [​IMG]

    It is the only life he has known. But technology is now replacing tradition. The 45-year-old uses a motorbike - and not a horse - to herd his sheep.

    His two sons are successful Mongolian wrestlers - both of them now live in the city.

    "When I was growing up here it wasn't easy," Naranmandura said.

    "We only had one set clothes for all the seasons. Now children have a good life. But they don't know their culture - they're lost like a tiny boat on the sea."

    Almost crying, Naranmandura said that when he died, he wanted his ashes to be scattered on his beloved grasslands.

    Like many of his generation he has a deep respect for Mongol traditions. But he is torn by the demands of a different age that are bringing sweeping change to this region.

    BBC News - Sweeping change across China's Inner Mongolia

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    The nomadic tribes are high on traditions and customs, but are being swamped by the necessity of modernisation.

    The conflict zones will naturally be activated.

    China will have to balance the two.
     
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  3. Srinivas_K

    Srinivas_K Senior Member Senior Member

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    Chinese come with a threat called Hannization, converting minorities into Hans by various methods, Reason why lot of countries close to China are concerned about their cultures and identities.
     
  4. PredictablyMalicious

    PredictablyMalicious Punjabi Senior Member

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    (Outer?) Mongolians are racist as hell, not just to the Chinese but also to others. They think they are the Europeans of Asia (not kidding). They are deluded as hell.
     
  5. CCP

    CCP Senior Member Senior Member

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    They are indeed more Europeanised. Thanks to Russian.
     
  6. PredictablyMalicious

    PredictablyMalicious Punjabi Senior Member

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    East Asians find them attractive :lol: The rest of the world does not. Btw I wasn't referring to their phenotype. They think they are the most westernized and modern people in Asia.
     
  7. badguy2000

    badguy2000 Respected Member Senior Member

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    well, IF BBS could persuade britishmen to give up modern household appliance such as AC ,TV ,motel and autos, then it would seem less double-standard and hypercritic to critize the mongolians using modern AC,TV and auto..

    BTW, inner mongolia is one of richest provinces in CHina now.
    its per capita GDP is more than 10K USD.
    Many areas there has a per capita GDP more than S.Korea and Taiwan.
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2014
  8. no smoking

    no smoking Senior Member Senior Member

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    Chinese come with a threat called MODERNIZATION!
    No one put a gun on anyone's head to impose a modern life on them. If their youth was lured away by modern life, it means there is something wrong with their tradition culture.
    Just as Naranmandura's case, his sons don't want his grandchildren to have a childhood with only one set of cloths.

    Funny thing is our Indian friends have no problem for themselves to leave their villages to move in modern city and put on T-shirt/suits/ties enjoying everything offered by modern life style. They never complained how their traditional way of life is under threat.
     
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  9. Srinivas_K

    Srinivas_K Senior Member Senior Member

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    No one is claiming Modernization as a threat!!

    Modernization along with tradition is possible and this is what Indians are doing all these days.
     
  10. CCP

    CCP Senior Member Senior Member

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    Well, I can only see traditions but not much Modernization in India.
     
  11. Srinivas_K

    Srinivas_K Senior Member Senior Member

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    Modernization do not mean leaving traditions, it is the way of thinking.
     
  12. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Modernisation at the cost of ecology and environment is a threat to humanity!

    Modernisation in China has been at the expense of the people. They have been evicted from their ancestral homes with little or no compensation, so that China modernised.

    What was done in Beijing for the Olympic is one good example.

    A gun was put at anyone's and everyone's head to impose a modern life on them and to showcase Beijing and China,
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2014
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  13. badguy2000

    badguy2000 Respected Member Senior Member

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    haha,it is very funny that you think normal people prefer tradition at expense of modernization
     
  14. badguy2000

    badguy2000 Respected Member Senior Member

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    tradition does not mean rejecting car,household appliance and plats.
     
  15. hbogyt

    hbogyt Regular Member

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    Tradition is useless, nuff said. It's worth $0.
     
  16. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    I would not know about the Chinese, but the Indian ''normal" people do.

    That is why the people were agitating against the Posco plant in Odisha which would denude forests, as also against the nuclear plant near Chennai!

    As I said, money and creature comforts is not the be all and end all in India, as it is in China.

    Maybe you should not transpose the Chinese mindset to understand the Indian mindset.
     
  17. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    If that were so, then the Chinese New Year should not be celebrated, blocking the railway system, bringing the industry and manufacturing to a halt, wasting money on festoons and Dragon Dance and firecrackers, no red envelopes, feast with lots of food so that money could be saved and so on.
     
  18. splinter

    splinter Regular Member

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    Without 'modernization' India shouldn't have so large a population nowadays, the sheer fact itself tells the truth; otherwise, there is no good explanation why suddenly India becomes so populous in the last several decades.

    It is amusing to see how India will feed her own people without resorting to modernization.
     

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