Inner Mongolia: Futuristic landscape drumming with tradition
Home >> News

Inner Mongolia: Futuristic landscape drumming with tradition

Updated: 2015-07-03 14:04:25

( By Andrew Ancheta )

Share on

A group of diplomats from 15 countries visit the Inner Mongolia during the third Cultural Discovery Tour. [Photo/]

The third cultural discovery tour was hosted by the Ministry of Culture in the Inner Mongolia autonomous region. I joined the tour, along with a group of diplomats and others, as a guest of the ministry.

Few Westerners, myself included, know much about either of the Mongolias. Before setting out I vaguely imagined it as a vast wilderness, populated by grassland tribes so warlike that the world's most stupendous fortification was not enough to keep them out. Somewhere in the ocean of dust and grass, Coleridge says, is Xanadu, where "did Kubla Khan a stately pleasure dome decree."

Travelling through in the 1980s, Paul Theroux described Inner Mongolia as "nothing more than a light brown land, yellower where the grass was." Even the Chinese described it "by wincing and calling it 'the grasslands'—and they prayed they would not be sent to work in such a region." In Hohhot, the capital, the celebrated travel writer was even more discouraging: "It was not really a city—it was a garrison that had been plonked down in the Mongolian prairie, and every building in it looked like a factory. It had been planned and much of it built by the Russians, but even its newer structures looked horrible."

Related: Inner Mongolia: Land ethnic, religious harmony

1 2 3 4 Next
Editor's Pick
Hot words
Most Popular