Cultural Notes 2

This is for particularly for anyone interested in visiting Mongolia in the future.

-Most Mongolians are fairly indifferent to Westerners. A lot feel positively towards Westerners, particularly if you show interest in Mongolian culture, try to speak the language and are polite. There are however extremely conservative groups who really don’t like foreigners. Sometimes people will be very rude.

-That attitude towards foreigners (mostly positive) does not apply to the Chinese. Everyone hates the Chinese here.

-Dogs are treated very differently, particularly in the countryside. They are not touched or petted. Kicking dogs is considered a standard way of making your point known. My family in the countryside interacted with their dogs by kicking, tying up, and throwing scraps of meat at them. This produces not very friendly dogs. Only puppies will want to play with you. However, these dogs can kill wolves. Also, in the city where there are no wolves, the dogs fight each other. For human entertainment. Dog fighting is legal here. Also in Russia. Anyway, don’t play with dogs. Particularly pit bulls and Caucasian shepherds.

-Trying to rip off foreigners is fairly standard. One of my teachers was helping me negotiate joining a wrestling gym and was surprised when I expected to pay as much as the Mongolian students. This is the same guy who told us, in a completely serious tone, to not sit on the ground because the bad water spirits would make us sick.

Anyway, I have to go to the Gobi now. Laters.


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