Thursday, 4 November 2010

does size matter?

Mongolia is scarily large and complicated country. It takes at least a day to travel north to south or east to west. It is a land of contrasts. The north is mountainous with forests, scary fish and lakes; the south comprises paleontologically interesting arid desert and glaciers. Things used to be a lot different. Mongolia used to be a whole lot bigger and more complex.

For centuries China and Russia have wrestled over Mongolia. Both super-nations have struggled to control the smaller nation and it's sedately savage population. After the Second World War a certain Mr Stalin decreed that Mongolia must never have an opportunity of having more than ten million inhabitants. He said were the country able to do so then Mongolia would surely take over the world; so savage and warlike did he deem its people.
After World War II Stalin took lands to the north around Lake Baikal and gave China what is now Inner Mongolia. Mongolia is still a big place with big challenges but it is not a fraction of what it used to be (size wise). But it is an amazing country with a fierce sense of identity, independence and integrity. It is a country I have come to love. I have always insisted that size really doesn't matter. It is the quality on offer that makes the difference.
Mongolian of the day:- land :: buukh