Racial identity in Mongolia as a foreigner

My final article at the UB Post, unedited version. My boss requested that I write an article detailing particular impressions I had of Mongolia as a foreigner, but this wound up being a piece on Asian-American identity and the ambiguous place of Asian adoptees in ethnic communities. Link to original is currently unavailable.

When I first arrived, I hopped in a taxi with a Mongolian cab driver who spoke no English. He was a cheery fellow, blasting and humming along to 1960s radio tunes.

While we were waiting in traffic, he asked me something in rapid Mongolian. I shook my head and said I didn’t understand. He said more slowly, “Bi, mongold. Chi?”

“Bi mongold bish,” I replied, the only sentence I knew at the time. He demanded, what was I, then – Japan? Korea? Mexico? I told him, “American.”

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UNFPA battles domestic violence with family planning and education

Article from earlier this summer containing an interview with Naomi Kitahara, UNFPA Representative of Mongolia. Original can be found here

Recently, the UNFPA released both its “Breaking the silence for equality: 2017 National Study on Gender-based Violence in Mongolia” and a statement on reproductive resource availability by Naomi Kitahara, UNFPA representative, at the National Consultative Meeting on Reproductive Health and Family Planning. In the following interview, Kitahara discusses the progress of Mongolia in the areas of family planning and reproductive health, as well as the responses, challenges, and future plans of the UNFPA in regards to gender-based violence and human rights.

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Young Mongolian entrepreneurs ‘activate’ the economy

Unedited version of an article on the UNDP’s Activated2030 initiative in Mongolia to bolster the economy in a sustainable manner. Original can be found here.

In late 2017, the UNDP launched Activated2030. This program identifies prevailing attitudes and entrepreneurial tendencies among young Mongolians. The UNDP hopes to improve general perception of startup culture and to encourage youth entrepreneurship.

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Implementing gender sensitivity in disaster relief

This article contains excerpts from my interview with Bjorn Andersson from the UNFPA Asia-Pacific region. It addresses disaster relief in the context of recent flooding in Mongolia. Link to original article is currently unavailable.

Following a few days of downpour this past week, several roads in the Bayanzurkh District of Ulaanbaatar have been severely damaged, raising safety concerns for residents amidst flooding. The capital authorities have issued several notices of evictions to unauthorized families and entities located in at-risk zones, but reportedly, they have refused to move.

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Foreigner’s perception of Naadam and women

Article written for the UB Post during Naadam, detailing my impressions as a foreign woman and addressing the progress of gender equality in the nation as well. Link to original currently unavailable. Picture credits to Sebastian Zusi.

For Naadam, the city bloomed with silk and color. Mongolians wore deels with bright hues and intricate patterns. By the National Stadium, people milled about on the grounds, drifting from tent to tent with khuushuur in their hands. And inside the Naadam grounds, on the field, there were four women. They all wore blue cotton deels and straw-colored hats, and they marched up to the line that marked their position. They raised their bows, pulled back the string, and then an arrow hurtled through the air. They were beautiful and graceful.

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Economic value of dogs for Mongolia

An article addressing strays and the potential benefits of canines for Mongolia. Link to original article is currently unavailable.

I recently went to Gandan Monastery to take photos with a couple of friends. There, we befriended a stray dog. She served as a model for our pictures and as a new friend. However, upon exiting the temple, we were dismayed to see several locals come up to the dog and scream at her. One man even started looking for stones to pelt at her.

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Peace Corps volunteers bridge American and Mongolian culture

An article featuring the Peace Corps and a couple of their projects, initiatives, etc. Original can be found here.

Peace Corps Volunteers have served in Mongolia since 1991, with more than 1,100 volunteers teaching English as a foreign language, supporting health and community development, and bridging American and Mongolian cultures.

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Progress of family planning in Mongolia

Analysis of current access to reproductive health care resources and impact of lack of accessibility to rural populations especially. Original can be found here.

Family planning services are available in Mongolia, but recent research reveals room for improvement, especially for rural access, prevention of maternal deaths and domestic violence. The UNFPA, Marie Stopes International and several other NGOs are working with the government to provide better access to reproductive health resources.

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Researchers discuss the challenges of Mongolian cultural preservation

An article for The UB Post reporting the American Center for Mongolian Studies’ Cultural Preservation Conference. Original can be found here.

The American Center for Mongolian Studies hosted the ACMS Conference on Mongolian Cultural Heritage last week.

Presentations were given by over 20 speakers hailing from academic institutions worldwide. Researchers were affiliated with organizations such as the Max Planck Institute, the National Library of Mongolia, Global Leadership University, University of Warsaw, and the Archaeological Institute of Slovak Academy of Sciences among others. Topics of discussion included anthropology, archaeology, and history, as well as economics, biology, literature, and others.

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Successes in combating Mongolian brain drain

Article on Mongolians returning to their homeland after being educated abroad to contribute to the economic and societal development of their nation. Original can be found here.

More and more Mongolians are enrolling in institutions abroad, and while student mobility benefits the economy, “brain drain” has posed a concern in the past. However, in recent years, there has been a decrease in the number of citizens who remain abroad. Individuals are increasingly returning to work in their motherland, motivated by both nostalgia and the country’s growing start-up scene.

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