One of the most noticeable differences between Americans and Mongolians who I have known is their level of publicly-expressed nationalism. Almost every Mongolian I know is very patriotic of their country and culture making sideways comments about excessive fat in one's buuz an occasion for muttering and negatively flavored eye-contact.
Most of this isn't terribly upsetting though I don't completely sympathize with it. This sort of moderate nationalism exists side by side with more illogical kinds. A number of political groups have formed here that echo all kinds of been there, heard that nationalistic and even racist ideology. This week at the city wide advanced conversation class we will discuss nationalism's pros and cons. After providing a short preview of the topic at last week's class I was told that it would "start a fire".
I tried to set up this upcoming discussion by talking about good and bad reasons to dislike things (food, people, etc.) last week. Some interesting positions resulted including some people advocating a benefit analysis process for creating and maintaining relationships!
Check out the following UB Post article about right wing nationalistic groups here in Mongolia and their strange links with Third Reich ideology and iconography: http://ubpost.mongolnews.mn/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=2446&Itemid=42
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