Monday, November 26, 2007

A Note to Myself

Oxford University Press-ees hevlen gargasan Dr. Uradyn E. Bulag-iin "Nationalism and Hybridity in Mongolia" nomiig olj unshmaar sanagdav. Daan ch jaahan unetey yum.

In this unique and important study of what it means to be a Mongolian in today's world, Dr. Uradyn E. Bulag draws on a vast amount of illuminating research to argue that all Mongols are in fact confronted with a choice between a purist, racialized nationalism (which they inherited from theSoviet discourses of the past) and a more open, adaptive, and inclusive nationalism (which would accept diversity, hybridity, and multiculturalism). The book calls into question the idea of Mongolia as a homogeneous place and people, and urges that unity be sought through a country-wide acknowledgment of diversity.
Hervee nudee gamnahguy gevel Google Book deerees zarim neg hesgiig ni unshij bolj baina.

from sub-chapter "Erliiz, the Threshold People":

As in the case of Tsedenbal, who attempted a political killing by calling his Halh co-leaders erliiz, the current hunt for bad blood is not just a matter of 'ethnic purification'. Since 1990, the bad blood hunt has been waged by the 'pure' Halh and Communists in order to discredit anybody who undermines Communist control. Enemies are called erliiz, and denigrated as the bad blood of society.

An example of the hysteria involved can be seen in Baabar's account (1992) of his encounter with a member of the Mongol Uhaan (Mongol Idea) society, a secret society in Mongolia, comprising only Halh. This quasi-Fascist group is supported by Communist hard-liners. They have a network of informants keeping a close eye on the 'ethnic' composition of the leadership. They have been bidding for Halh control of the government and state, which is now (1990-2) under the control of more diversified ethnic groups. They approach important personnel of Halh ethnic origin and attempt to recruit them into the organization. The purpose of the organization was laid bare by a secret agent who approached Baabar, who is also a central Halh: 'We should save our motherland. The entire leadership is falling into the hands of the Chinese and Buryat immigrants. In order to save our motherland from this dirt, some of us have organized a secret organization. Since we know you are a pure-blooded man of central Halh, we came trusting that you will support us.' The 'secret agent' then pointed out that President Ochirbat is a Chinese, because his stepfather is Chinese. Despite his being Mongol by birth, 'he (Ochirbat) ate Chinese food from young age, and became a Chinese through food' (see Chapter 6). The prime minister D. Byambasuren was called a Buryat immigrant. The chairman of the Mongolian Democratic Party, Bat-Uul, was said to be 'urine of Buryat immigrants'. The first deputy prime minister, Ganbold, was named a Chinese erliiz. The vice-president and leader of Parliament, Gonchigdorj, was also related to the Chinese, because 'his wife has Chinese blood. So his children are not normal The father of such children must be loyal to China.' He went on further to claim that the MP Ulaanhuu is also a Chinese erliiz. 'Look at his name: isn't it the same as the late Inner Mongolian leader Ulaanhuu?' After he was corrected by being informed that Ulaanhuu is a Durbet from Uvs, the secret agent said: 'Well, don't you see? Durbet means bad blood! The deputy prime minister, Dorligjav, is also a Durbet. But where are our Halh?' Baabar was to find out only later that he was also labelled 'Chinese erliiz', simply because he did not endorse the view put forward by the 'Mongol Idea' society.

The MPRP (Communist-dominated) organ Bodliin Solbiltsol (7 January 1992) published a threat from a police officer. Choisurengiin Vasha, a typical Russified Mongol, judging from his name: 'People say we should not shed blood One can only become healthy when one is constantly bled and combed. Similarly, the bad blood of the society should be let out so as to make it healthy. A certain elderly person told me this. It is right!'

The discourse of blood is not uniquely Mongolian, despite the supposed 'tradition' invoked by the police officer. The idea of blood as a political symbol is, as Herzfeld (1992) has convincingly argued, a Western tradition. He points out that the Western humoral classification of human races 'persisted, not only in scientific theory, but also, and especially, in the sphere of ethnic politics and prejudice' (1992: 22). Eugenicists of the nineteenth century such as Francis Galton saw the racial organization of humankind as essentially unchanging. Galton's view was a major influence on the immigration policies of Anglo-Saxon countries (ibid.). The spread of this ideology of 'unchanging nation or race' lies behind the 'ethnic cleansing', or what the Mongolian police office called 'blood-combing', type of mentality. Herzfield writes: 'The association of blood, war, and intellect constitutes the conceptual foundation of the ideas of identity that we find ensconced in much European classification of persons. Distilled and intensified through the selective filter of a national educational system, rationalizes feral actions' (1992: 28)


Pearle Deppsu said...


Ачболд said...

Very interesting. Thanks for pointing us to the book. I wonder what he means by "diversity." I regard the Dorvod, Buriad, Oold, etc. as Mongols. I'm all for diversity, but I cannot accept, for example, a large number of Chinese immigrants. As a sovereign nation, we have the right to close our borders. But I agree with him that we have the tendency to call people we don't like "chinese erliiz" and that has to be stopped.

Barimalch said...

Ene nom chine jalga dovniihoo uzliig jaahan orchin uyejuuleed gadagsh n orchuulchihsan yum shig.

Rhia said...

Morris Rossabi-giin "Modern Mongolia" davgui nom bnalee. uran zohiolyn nom shig l unshuulaal bna. unshaagui bol.. gesnees, Tim Harford-iin Undercover Economist-iig unshij ehlesen. unshsan bol, setgegdlee bichnee daraa ;)