Monday, August 22, 2005

New Mongolia Blog: Mongolian Matters

A new Mongolia blog is up and running in English, Mongolian, and, potentially at least, in Dutch. Mongolian Matters (Mens in Mongoliƫ) is covering "life in the land of the blue heaven" and looks to be interesting.

(Via this site, I also discovered that the Mongol Messenger is back.)


Saturday, August 20, 2005

Mongolia Disappears?

I was catching up at The Marmot's Hole when I stumbled upon the fact that Mongolia has--well, how to put this delicately?--vanished. What a surprise. I'm pretty sure it was there when I checked a few weeks ago. And just when we got the Mongolia blog going, too!

Seriously, though, when I first began blogging this, I had hoped that the omission of Mongolia from the China National Tourism homepage's list China's neighbors was simply an editorial oversight or at most geographical illiteracy on the part of one of the website's flunkies:
China has shared borders for centuries with Korea, the former Soviet Union, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Nepal, Sikkim, Bhutan, Burma, Laos and Vietnam.
Then again, a commenter at The Marmot's Hole noted that neither is Tibet mentioned (understandable, perhaps). Suspicions raised, I took a look through the list again. And a very interesting list it is, too (click here for a map of the region): North Korea is identified on the list simply as "Korea." Did I miss reunification? Also, Sikkim is counted as an independent country. Sikkim was independent, but that ended in 1975, when a successful referrendum made it India's 22nd state. It's also puzzling that Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan are not named--instead "the former Soviet Union" is. Aha! Perhaps the explanation for Mongolia's nonmention is this list is that it got lumped into the "former Soviet Union" along with Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan--something that didn't even happen in Soviet times. While Mongolia was under aggressive Soviet influence, its independence was always recognized (cf. old Czechoslovakia, Hungary).

Anyway, I have written a [polite] e-mail to the webmaster of the site in question ( kindly requesting a correction with regard to Mongolia. If that goes well, I might follow up re: Korea, Sikkim, etc. I'll be sure to blog any responses.


Thursday, August 18, 2005

Out of Pocket; Quick Roundup

Life has sped up a few notches and I've been left with very, very little time to blog. Many thanks to those who have commented. I'll try to respond sooner or later--whenever things calm down again.

In the mean time...
  1. Andy from was kind enough to send me an interesting link about Jews in Mongolia. Actually, there were 3 or 4 such stories on the wires when he sent it. Very interesting. Check it out. I'd be interested to know if any Mongolians have converted to Judaism.
  2. Always wanted to go to Mongolia, but never have? Here's more fuel for the fire.
  3. It's a bad summer in Mongolia for animal diseases that can be contracted by humans--Anthrax (another story here) and Avian Flu. Hopefully this doesn't cancel out your desire to visit Mongolia.
  4. Here's something on the Mongolian gold rush. I haven't commented on it in the past, but it's a growing issue there and is constantly in the news (mining in general is, too).
That's it for now. Signing off...