Seminar – 3 February – Rebekah Plueckhahn

January 27th, 2015 by anna.c
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ALL WELCOME

Tuesday 3 February

4.30–6.00 Mond Building Seminar Room

Rebekah Plueckhahn

University College London

Performing Value, Forming Resources:

Morality, Musical Performance and Social Continuation in Mongolia

Abstract

How is value created through musical performance, cultural ownership claims, and a burgeoning resource economy in Mongolia? In this paper I argue that the creation of value in these activities forms part of a ‘political economy of performative acts’ that is of current concern for Mongolia as it negotiates the sale of its mineral resources. Attention to musical performance and cultural ownership claims form part of a larger ‘cultural resource management’ that occurs on a number of ‘national’ and ‘local’ scales. Examining these scales reveals different temporal positionings – with some looking to the past to define the present, while others using actions in the present in order to evoke a better future. Exploring the creation of value in this political economy of performative acts, this paper examines some aspects of the intermeshing of ‘local’ and ‘national’ scales in contemporary Mongolia.

Mongolia’s New Government December 2014 – News

January 22nd, 2015 by anna.c
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A report by Alan Sanders for MIASU 18.12.14

Formation of Mongolia’s new coalition government December 2014

Mongolian President Elbegdorj’s 2014 drive for ‘smart government’ coincided with a long-running political argument in the Mongolian Great Khural (national assembly) whether members of the cabinet should also be members of parlIament, the so-called davkhar deel issue.

The government of Prime Minister Altankhuyag, which came to power in 2012, decided in October 2014 to cut the number of ministries by merging several of them, for example the Ministry of Economic Development with the Ministry of Finance. Seven ministers resigned, including Foreign Minister Bold, and the ruling Democratic Party (DP) and Justice coalition set about the nomination of new ministers. DP chairman Altankhuyag signed a long-term cooperation agreement with the Mongolian People’s Revolutionary Party (MPRP), whose chairman, ex-president Enkhbayar, suspended his hospital treatment in Seoul to attend the signing ceremony in Ulan Bator.

However, on 5 November the Great Khural dismissed Prime Minister Altankhuyag, who resigned his chairmanship of the DP, and Speaker Enkhbold was chosen to replace him as DP leader. Contrary to the former practice of selecting the chairman of the majority party, on 21 November the Great Khural appointed as the Prime Minister Saikhanbileg, the Cabinet Secretary in the previous government. The opposition Mongolian People’s Party (MPP) initially declared that it would not cooperate with the DP in coalition with the MPRP, but changed its mind when the DP decided to consult all parliamentary parties about forming a new coalition. The result was an agreement by these parties to allocate ministers to a new set of ministries in proportion to the number of seats each party holds in the Great Khural: DP 10 posts, MPP 6, Justice 3 (MPRP 2, MNDP 1). The selection process was complicated by efforts to reduce the number of Great Khural members appointed to ministerial posts, acquiring a davkhar deel. The process of appointing the ministers began in the Great Khural on 5 December and was completed on 9 December. Ten of the 19 are Great Khural members, two are women.

Prime Minister: Chimediin Saikhanbileg, DP, MP

Deputy Prime Minister: Ukhnaagiin Khürelsükh, MPP (ex-General Secretary MPP)

Head, Cabinet Secretariat (Minister): Sangajavyn Bayartsogt, DP, MP (ex-Deputy Speaker)

Ministers – General Ministries:

Environment, Green Development and Tourism: Dulamsürengiin Oyuunkhorol, MPP, MP (f)

Finance: Jargaltulgyn Erdenebat, MPP, MP (chairman, budgetary control sub-committee)

Foreign Affairs: Lündegiin Pürevsüren, DP (former presidential foreign affairs aide)

Justice: Dambyn Dorligjav, DP (former Procurator General)

Ministers – Sectoral Ministries:

Construction and Urban Development: Damdiny Tsogtbaatar, MPP (ex-Secretary MPP)

Defence: Tserendashiin Tsolmon, Justice/MPRP, MP

Education, Culture and Science: Luvsannyamyn Gantömör, DP, MP

Food and Agriculture: Radnaagiin Burmaa, DP, MP (f)

Health and Sport: Gankhuyagiin Shiilegdamba, Justice/MPRP (General Secretary MPRP)

Industry: Dondogdorjiin Erdenebat, DP, MP

Labour: Sodnomyn Chinzorig, MPP (former MP)

Mining: Rentsendoogiin Jigjid, DP (former State Secretary in Mining Ministry)

Population Development and Social Welfare: Sodnomzunduin Erdene, DP, MP

Power: Dashzevegiin Zorigt, DP, MP

Roads and Transport: Namkhain Tömörkhüü, MPP (member Leadership Council MPP)

Minister without portfolio: Mendsaikhany Enkhsaikhan, Justice/MNDP (former Prime Minister)

Seminar – 20 January – Hurelbaatar Ujeed

January 19th, 2015 by anna.c
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Tuesday 20 January

4.30–6.00 Mond Building Seminar Room

Hurelbaatar Ujeed

Inner Mongolia Normal University

Transforming and Traditionalising: Modernisation of the Old Barga People


Abstract

The Old Barga are one of the oldest of the Mongolian nomadic peoples. Their homeland, from the 18th century, the Old Barga Banner, is situated on the border between China and Russia. As a result of Chinese and Southern Mongolian immigration to the area in the last century, they became a minority of approximately 10,000 in population and gradually became underprivileged even amongst other Mongolian peoples. However, with China’s recent economic development and socio-political as well as cultural makeover Old Barga has been undergoing an unusual  transformation.

In this process, Old Barga people’s ethnic culture and tradition is actively preserved, revived and recreated as an anchor against the uprooting effects of transformation and modernisation. As with many societies, 20th century modernisation meant a degree of loss of traditional culture. But now, in response, there is a conscious effort to preserve what is seen as cultural heritage, rituals and traditions with which they are regaining lost privileges. The passive elements of culture have degraded with modernisation; but the active elements have grown stronger and are more thoroughly observed. In particular, Old Barga identity, social networks and solidarity have come to revolve strongly around the ideas and practice of traditional clan structure, historical and cultural landscapes, clan oboos, and ancestor tombs.

Old Barga people are not passive in the process of their transformation, but rather active, adapting and taking the opportunity through “traditionalising” to strengthen their culture and regional identity.  These days Barga people are not declining (at least at the moment) but expanding and strengthening by both actively revitalising tradition and taking the chances offered by the new economic development and modernisation, they are reclaiming and legitimising  their rights, dignity, pride among outsiders: Southern Mongols and Chinese, who held most of the political, social and economic privileges in the past century.

Now Old Bargas are reconstructing roots in their homeland – an economic base and cultural heritage which other people don’t have – and they are also actively accumulating in the wider economy, in which they participate along with other people.

Website Launched – mongoliantemples.org

January 19th, 2015 by anna.c
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New website uncovers Mongolia’s Buddhist past

In January 2015 the website www.mongoliantemples.org went live. Mongolia’s Buddhist heritage is revealed in a treasure trove of data presented in this website of the Documentation of Mongolian Monasteries project.

Press release

The Core Concept of Grassland Culture – papers

January 15th, 2015 by anna.c
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The Core Concept of Grassland Culture, I, II, III

by:

Wu Tuanying, Ma Yongzhei, Jin Hai, Bao Siqin, Wu En

Editorial Note

The concept of wenhua or culture has undergone numerous changes in China and Chinese. Until the mid-twentieth century it had a normative power that defined and distinguished the (Han) Chinese from the non-Chinese. In the twentieth century, as non-Han Chinese have become ‘ethnic minorities’ (officially called minzu or nationalities) of a unitary Chinese modern state, each of them has been afforded a ‘culture’. However, since the turn of the twenty-first century, the notion of culture has been ‘de-ethnicized’, but regionalised based on ecological characteristics, so that China is now defined to be constituted of three cultures: caoyuan (grassland) culture, huanghe (Yellow River) culture, and changjiang (Yangtze River) culture. Inspired by Fei Xiaotong, the most prominent social anthropologist China produced, who redefined the property of the Chinese Nation as being unity in diversity, the notion of grassland culture has been embraced as the core culture of Inner Mongolia, which boasts the greatest (though rapidly shrinking) expanse of grassland in China. Here we are pleased to put on our website three papers written by leading scholars in Inner Mongolia, which describe three integral dimensions of the core concept of grassland culture they promote. We believe that they may well become what may be called the Cultural Constitution of Inner Mongolia (and beyond), and serve as a guiding principle for future Chinese Communist Party and state policies in the region.

Disclaimer of Endorsement and Liability: The papers are published here at the request of the authors, and in their original form of submission. They are copyrighted, and the rights are held by the authors. The views expressed in these papers are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of MIASU, and MIASU hereby disclaims any responsibility for them

草原文化核心理念1 Respect for nature-1

草原文化核心理念2 Implementing the Opening-up Policy-2

草原文化核心理念3 Adherence to Faith-3