Inner Mongolia: Futuristic landscape drumming with tradition
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Inner Mongolia: Futuristic landscape drumming with tradition

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

( By Andrew Ancheta )

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The 'bride' leaves after the mock wedding organized for diplomats and guests in the middle of a desert in Ordos, Inner Mongolia, June 27, 2015. [Photo/]

The latter was the most impressive. Unlike the Chinese opera, Mongolian music is thunderous and stentorian, like a drumming herd of horses. The songs are all named for horses; even the violins have equine heads and horsehair strings. We later got a second dose with a booming performance by a dance troupe in a packed 600-seat theatre.

The following day we travelled to the Mausoleum of Genghis Khan, in the desert outside Ordos. The tomb is actually empty—the Khan's body has never been discovered—but holds relics like his weapons and saddle. Built in the 1950s, the cenotaph is maintained at government expense by an ancient tribe of worshippers.

"We revere Genghis Khan," our tour guide said. "In China he is famous for creating a meritocracy and efficient government. He is worshiped by the Mongol people. Even though his body isn’t here, we use his tomb to honor him."

The last night of the tour was spent in a tent watching a traditional prairie wedding—actually a reenactment by local actors. At least a 100 Chinese tourists came out to the prairie to watch the costumed performers explain their wedding customs, which include complicated rituals of greeting, bargaining and gift giving. The nuptials concluded with horseracing, archery, and more music.

Related:Inner Mongolia: Land ethnic, religious harmony

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