Trans Siberian Tales: Why Chinese do not like Mongolians?

Why Chinese do not like Mongolians?
Our fellow passenger who has worked in Mongolia for some years

This is a continuation from: Trans Siberian Day 2: Majestic Mongolia

When I typed a search in Google, I was surprised by the suggestions that popped out at “Why Chinese don’t like…”

That are quite a few varieties – Indians being number one, followed by Japanese, then Vietnamese.

Mongolians are not in there. But I  came across few articles explaining why, once I complete the search.

Why you may ask, would I be asking this question – ‘Why Chinese do not like Mongolians?’ Were there Chinese and Mongolians exchanging punches on the Trans Siberian?

The answer is no, but you can find an unspoken tension and mistrust between the two nationalities.

Our experience was that the Chinese did have difficult entering Mongolia, and fellow Chinese passengers sharing our berth showed a tinge of dissatisfaction when the custom officials left. They signed loudly and shook their heads.

We asked them later today in an indirect, polite way, “what is the problem”?

The older one looked resigned and said, “Mongolia used to be part of China many years ago. Now there is nothing there. Mongolians rely on Chinese for everything.” And then he relapsed into silence. I suppose, this is the jaded feeling you get after doing business in Mongolia for a couple of decades.

The Chinese train attendant asked me at a stop at Ulan Bator, what do I think about the Mongolian people? I told him what I observed, they look different, cheeks are redder, and I guess talked a bit louder. Which is perfectly understandable, because if you in the Mongolian plains, you’re not going to get anyone’s attention if you don’t holla.

* * *

I came across this article from The Economic Observer in China that came out from the Google search. It’s pretty helpful in shedding some light on the situation. It’s not too biased though it mostly focuses on the Chinese perspective.

Basically, it says that it’s a political issue – Mongolians are afraid that China has set their sights on taking over them.

“Liu said that Mongolian people have a very strange mentality. Economically, they rely on Chinese people very much and often ask them for help. But politically, you’ll only be popular if you say bad things about Chinese.”

The article also said that Chinese bosses find that Mongolian workers are “lazy, alcoholic and not willing to adhere to normal working hours”.

The Chinese can be at fault too.

According to the article, “Chinese workers can also aggravate problems through their own behavior. Some discriminate against Mongolians, calling them sluggish or alcoholic. Sometimes they mock Mongolia’s lack of development compared to China’s or say, “Mongolia was once our territory. Mongolians don’t take too kindly to this.”

* * *

And this is what I have learnt during my travels. There is always distrust between people of different nationalities. Some Indians don’t like Chinese, some Pakistanis don’t like Indians, some Chinese don’t like Indians and closer back home, some Malaysians don’t like Singaporeans. And vice-versa. It’s everywhere.

But I have learnt during my extended stay in India, that you could find the kindness, nicest people in India, and also the most selfish and stuck up ones side by side in the same country. We shouldn’t judge people base on their nationality, accent and appearance, but rather on the basis of their individual actions and attitudes.

This is what travelling has taught me.

Do you have any thoughts? Please share them in the comment box below. Travelling is about sharing.

Click here to read about my next post on Irkutsk, Around and about.

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Trans Siberian Day 2: Majestic Mongolia

This is a continuation from - Trans Siberian Tales: Border crossing from China to Mongolia The Mongolian league of the trip...

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