China Trying to Erase Inner Mongolian Culture

This map shows Inner Mongolia highlighted in the north of China. Mongolia shares a long border to the North. (Photo credit: Das steinerne Herz / CC BY-SA https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)

Students and parents from Inner Mongolia gathered to protest a new Chinese policy that would require students to use Mandarin textbooks, rather than learn in Mongolian.

Joe Handley of Asian Access describes Inner Mongolia (not to be confused with the independent country of Mongolia to the north) and its relation to China. “Imagine that China was like the United States. Inner Mongolia would be something like the state of Montana. It’s a region within the country that floats between autonomy and less autonomy. Most of these minority-based regions don’t have a lot of autonomy, though.”

Erasure of Inner Mongolian culture

China’s goal? To unify the entire country into a single Chinese society governed closely by the Communist Party out of Beijing. And they won’t back away from erasing Inner Mongolian culture to satisfy this goal. Handley says, “The Chinese government is imposing the education system to be predominantly in Mandarin Chinese. That means that the local, indigenous Inner Mongolian population will have less and less ability to train the next generation within their own cultural norms and language norms.”

Inner Mongolians identify more with Mongolia than much of Chinese culture, so the pressure to conform has been profound. With so much pressure to embrace a monolithic Chinese culture, Handley says many Inner Mongolians are simply fleeing the country, often up into Mongolia.

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SOURCE: Mission Network News, Kevin Zeller

CALL TO ACTION

  • Pray the people of Inner Mongolia would be able to retain their cultural heritage.
  • Ask God to be with Inner Mongolian Christians and that they would reflect the love of Jesus into the region.