A Mongol's story about Yurt

Copyright 1999, by Oyunbilig

Paper presented at "Exposing Communist Chinese Government Influence in America" Conference, Orlando, Florida May 15, 1999

Because I'm a Mongol, people always think and believe that I was born in a Yurt. That's also what the Florida Splendid China theme park tells the American people. Through the exhibit, the park illustrates a picture telling the visitors that the Mongols in Inner Mongolia still enjoying their tradition of being a nomad nation, dwelling place to place, singing and dancing from time to time, happy with the current status of being a member of the big family of People's of Republic of China. But my own experience of being a Mongol from Inner Mongolia will give people a totally different picture.

I was born in 1968 in the Ordos region of Inner Mongolia. My father was a student monk in local Buddhist temple when the Chinese Army first arrived in the region in late 40's. The Chinese army defeated the local Mongol self-defense force and created Communist government all over the region. The Communist government closed all temples and monasteries (later destroyed) and my father had to resume the secular life. He then married to my mother, a lifelong herdsman in early 60's. By the time they married, the Communist government already declared that all the traditional Mongol elements, including clothing, living, song, dance and religious practice, are Feudal remnants and must be destroyed or prohibited. So when my parents build their new home, that was a yellow mud house, instead of a Yurt. So I was born and grew up in the mud house. I couldn't recall there were any yurts left in the region, because the Mongols who dare to risk their lives to protect their tradition were all condemned to jail or labor camps.

First time I saw a Yurt in my life was in mid 80's after I entered high school in the capital city of Inner Mongolia, Hohhot. During a summer picnic, we visited a tourist attraction place 2-hour drive from the city. Houses built from mud and bricks were all along the way until we reach the grassland behind the mountain, which separates the city from the vast Gobi. On a hilltop, there was a single Yurt. At the first sight, it looked so beautiful and sacred for me. But shortly later, another kind of feeling struck me and it has accompanied me ever since. That was a mixture of loneliness and sorrow. The Yurt was so lonely on the entire landscape that I almost believed that it was the last one on the earth. There were also a few Mongol horses, descendants of those amazing creatures, which carried Genghis Khan and his army across Eurasia. To my horror, the horses were tamed so obedient that they even don't know how to gallop. Trotting away only a few hundred yards from the hilltop, they would turn back to their owner, no matter what the riders try to do. They have totally lost their spirit and wildness.

The Yurt and the horses were not just happened to be there by themselves. Like the few monasteries in the city, they were chosen to be there by the Chinese government as a showcase to the foreign visitors. The government wants the visitors to believe the same thing they are trying to tell through the Florida Splendid China Theme Park.

It won't surprise me if the last Yurt on the earth ends up in the Florida Splendid China Theme Park.

Oyunbilig, May 31, 1999. Germantown, Maryland.

For more information about the Inner Mongolian People's Party, please visit http://www.innermongolia.org.

Oyunbilig can be reached by email at: Oyunbilig@aol.com

Third Panel:"Exposing Chinese Government Propaganda: Examing the propaganda exhibits at Florida Splendid China"

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