Spoke with Sean on the phone yesterday and he directed to me to two recent MSM pieces about Mongolia. These certainly cover new ground for international reporting on Mongolia. One on shamans (my old apartment jijur left Ulaanbaatar in late 2007 to become a shaman in Hentii) and one on neo-Nazis (when I lived in UIaanbaatar's 11th microdistrict in 2008, there was a group of zaluuchuud who would cruise their oversized Nazi Party flag around the neighborhood in an SUV while flexing their tattoos).
Links and excerpts below.
Since , shamans have flourished here and become a visible fixture of city life in recent years, offering exorcisims and fortune-telling on Web sites and professionally made street signs.
They are in high demand. Thousands of bureaucrats, laid-off factory workers and nomads who lost their herds in the country’s stumble toward a market economy now crowd faded Soviet-style apartment blocks and tent districts looking for work, love and healing.
“In the old days people asked for rain,” said Chinbat, 30, an electrical engineer who recently finished training to become a shaman. “Today they ask for money.”
The neo-Nazis may be on society's fringe, but they represent the extreme of a very real current of nationalism. Sandwiched between Russia and China, with foreign powers clamoring for a slice of the country's vast mineral riches, many Mongolians fear economic and ethnic colonization. This has prompted displays of hostility toward outsiders and slowed crucial foreign-investment negotiations.