Society and Culture

How Sinophobia and Excessive Nationalism Screws Us All in the End, Especially Women

Sinophobia - literally, the fear or hatred of China and Chinese people - is common within Mongolian culture. Even the more liberal-minded aunts, uncles, grannies and grandpas will tell you: “You can marry whoever you want, just not a Chinese.” Sinophobia seems to be deeply ingrained into Mongolian culture, with some citing centuries of ill-will. Others also cite a radical difference between the two cultures, often with the best qualities falling on home turf and the worst qualities in enemy territory. But why? Why is Sinophobia such a big deal in Mongolia? We’ll explore this idea for the next weeks, starting with Sinophobia and its effect on Mongolian women.  

Economics and Business, Environment

Will ‘Made in Mongolia’ Take Off Globally? The Cashmere Story

If we look at the movement of cashmere, it goes like this: about ⅓ of the global cashmere supply originates from Mongolia. Mongolia’s raw cashmere is transported to China to be made into garments and then sold to the rest of the world. The United States, a huge consumer economy, buys nearly all of their… Continue reading Will ‘Made in Mongolia’ Take Off Globally? The Cashmere Story

Society and Culture

Монгол дахь сэтгэцийн эрүүл мэндийн талаар ярилцъя

Монголчуудаас Монгол хүний нийтлэг шинж чанарыг асуувал тэд тэвчээр хатуужилтай, даван туулах чадвартай гэж хариулах байх. Үүнийг тайлбарлах маш сайн 2 шалтгаан бий.  Эхний шалтгаан нь монголчууд байгаль цаг уурын маш хүнд ширүүн байдалтай зохицож даван туулж ирсэн. Жихүүн, чөмөг ташим -40 өвлийн хүйтэн хэмийг давж тал нутгийн таамаглашгүй саад бэрхшээлийг даван туулсны эцэст ямар… Continue reading Монгол дахь сэтгэцийн эрүүл мэндийн талаар ярилцъя

Society

Being LGBT in Mongolia

“I always ask, why are people so homophobic?” Dr. Dorjjantsan Ganbaatar, who goes by Jack, muses. The question hangs, just momentarily, for a split second in the air. He and I had been discussing the lives of LGBT people in Mongolia for close to an hour before we arrive at this question - a question… Continue reading Being LGBT in Mongolia

Society and Culture

The Life of a Foreigner in Mongolia: Between Two Worlds

While I loved and appreciated the expat circles in Ulaanbaatar, I was determined to become someone who integrated into the society somehow. Inclusivity is a two-way-street, and in my case, the first few paces down that street consisted of learning the language, studying Mongolian music, and a stroke of luck to find a group of the most loyal, intelligent, and brave Mongolians to be my friends.

Society and Culture

Let’s Talk About Mental Health in Mongolia

Ask a Mongolian to name a characteristic associated with being Mongolian and they might very well reply “toughness” or “resilience”. There’s a good reason for this - two very good reasons, in fact. First of all, Mongolians must deal with and survive the vast harshness of our geography and climate. After all, having to survive the bitter, bone-wrenching cold of a -40 degrees Celsius winter, and the unpredictable hurdles of the steppe will beat the “softness” out of anyone.

Society and Culture

Is Mongolia an Inclusive Society?

Despite having grown up in America, I love being in Mongolia, the country of my birth and my childhood. I love the crisp, cold mornings, and the perfect tinge of blue overhead. I love the architecture and the downtown, a blend of history and modernity. I love hearing Mongolian being spoken around me. I love the steam of freshly cooked buuz, the sizzle of huushuur and the savory smell of suutai tsai. But most of all, I love the feeling I get – the feeling of finally coming home, the feeling of being so totally accepted and fitting in.

Environment

In Mongolia, the Future of Food Security is Agritech

Mongolia’s development into the future requires innovative technology and integration in all forms of agriculture. We have over 1.5 million square kilometers of land, but only 3 million people. We have highly variable and extreme climate, but need stability in order to provide for our citizens, and to export our products to the world.

Society and Culture

To You, the Driver: Crossing a Road in Ulaanbaatar

As I finished crossing the busy Ulaanbaatar street and breathed a sigh of relief, the driver stuck his head out of his window and started yelling at me, calling me names and angrily asking (commenting?) on whether I knew how to cross the street with another sprinkle of cuss words.

Society and Culture

Coming Home: A Reflection on Gers

Looking at the Mongolian countryside, it is hard not to notice the white specks by hills, rivers, or in the middle of what seems like nowhere. Getting even closer you may hear the loud barks of the dog to alert their owners of the visitor. By the ruckus of the bark, the owners will bow their heads through the doorway of the white speck, which is of course a ger, and call his dog closer.

Environment, The Greenhouse Project - 2014

A Greenhouse in Mongolia – Our Project for Peace, Sustainability and Development

To increase access to vegetables for the students of Khongor, Mongolia, we established a greenhouse. We are happy to report that it is still alive and operational four years later.

Society and Culture

Pan-Mongolism: What is it and Why do We Need it?

A recently released song called Toonot aims to bring together Mongol hip hop artists to sing a pan-Mongol song . We thought that this would be a great opportunity to talk about Pan-Mongolism and what it means in relation to this song. The song says “Mongol” over 30 times and has male and female hip… Continue reading Pan-Mongolism: What is it and Why do We Need it?

Society and Culture

Eej Mine: the Significance of Motherhood in Mongolia

Every culture treasures mothers, but I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that Mongolians love their mothers more. Yet, throughout Mongolian history and into today, moms have to put up with a lot more ~shtuff~. In this post, we explore what it means to be a mom, and by short extension, what is means to be a woman in Mongolian society.  

Society and Culture

Call Me Mongol

Recently, I was speaking with a friend about wanting to be called Mongol (versus Mongolian), but how when I say it in English, it sounds… wrong. She quickly reminded me of an episode of 30 Rock, where Jack Donaghy, played by Alec Baldwin, and Elisa Pedriera, played by Salma Hayek, have a similar conundrum: Jack… Continue reading Call Me Mongol

Society and Culture

Mongolian Child Jockeys – Tradition or Human Rights Abuse?

Children make great jockeys. They are small, they are lightweight and they are competitive. But at the end of the day, horses are animals; they are not perfect, they can fall, they can get angry and buck you off, they can do numerous things to a lightweight child that can leave that child hurt, disabled for life or even dead.