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2011-08-09




President Elbegdorj: “I Think Mongol Studies Are Magnificent Contribution of Scholars and Scientists for Development and Progress of Mongolians”



State House
Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

Speech of Tsakhia Elbegdorj, President of Mongolia
at the Tenth Congress of International Mongolists

Honorable Mongolists,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

On behalf of the people of Mongolia and in my own name, I sincerely congratulate you Mongolian and international scholars and scientists those are participating in the Tenth Congress of International Mongolists and I wish success for the activities of the scholarly congress.

This nice summer morning, I am very much delighted to be with you here and to participate in your discussion.

I consider that this congress is the expression of the support and inspiration of global scholars and scientists for all activities of us Mongolians to consolidating a new society respecting democracy and freedom.

The first Congress of International Mongolists-Philologists that took place in Ulaanbaatar City in 1959 was the first international congress for not only Mongolian philology but also Mongol studies. When we look back to that congress from the height of today’s democratic society, it is clearly seen that half a century ago scholars, scientists and researchers made brave efforts to develop Mongol studies to international level.

The first congress widened its scope and became the “Congress of International Mongolists” and has held the congress for nine times and the number of participant countries and panelists has steadily increased.

Taking this opportunity, let us remember scholars those invaluably contributed to developing Mongol studies namely Dr. Charles Bawden of the U.K., Dr. Abematsu Genichi and Prof. Shigeo Ozawa of Japan, Dr. P. Alto of Finland, Yuri Nikolayevich Roerich and Dr. Garma Sanjeev of Russia, Dr. Wen Du Jiang of China, Dr. Raghu Vira of India, Dr. Byambiin Renchin, Dr. Tsendiin Damdinsuren and Dr. Sharaviin Luvsanvandan of Mongolia.

It is a great pride that a new generation of Mongolists - those will continue the publications and creations of the amazing scholars, scientists and researchers of Mongol studies - is emerging. Deepening Mongol studies further is vital for Mongolian future.

The Congress of International Mongolists is well known among Mongol Studies congresses and conferences those take place in many countries and thus Mongolists of many countries prepare and keep their interesting presentations with new ideas and solutions for the Congress of Ulaanbaatar.

Scholars, Scientists and Researchers,

You who know Mongolia and us Mongolians the best have gathered in this hall. Mongolia is a nation of rich history and great tradition of statehood. I consider that the basis of the existence of any nation is its history, heritage, culture and tradition. Therefore, we aspire to preserve, develop and flourish our national uniqueness, history, culture, tradition and heritage while we live together with other nations in the globalization era. Globalization does not mean to make everybody same. Instead, joining globalization means nations come with their own unique color, appearance, language, culture, history and heritage. If Mongolia looks without any difference from other countries when someone comes, Mongolia can not look like Mongolia and this will be boring.

It is remarkable to see what culture Mongolia has; what Mongolians do from getting up in the morning until she/he sleeps in the evening; what Mongolians worry about; how we adapt to nature on our land for many centuries.

The language, culture and the way of living of Mongolians are incredible progress that stands out with its uniqueness among histories, cultures and ways of living of human-being. Thus we Mongolians need to preserve our way of living while we join the globalization process.

I focus on supporting the proposals and initiatives of our scholars and scientists. Immediately after being elected as the President of Mongolia, I defined six major points to pay attention.

Many decrees and orders were issued on those points. One of the main directions that the President needs to focus on is Mongolian history, heritage, culture, the way of living and tradition. As Head of State and President, one of my main duties is to pay attention to continue to keep the above, and preserve Mongolia as Mongolia.

Let me mention three of these. We accorded with the Government of Mongolia and I issued a decree to include “Mongolian Traditional Way of Thinking and Basis of Yin Yang” subject - which is to introduce Mongolian culture, history, tradition, and the way of living to freshmen of primary school - into primary school’s academic program from this year. Now teachers those are going to teach the subject are re-trained and the textbook of the class is being developed.

In general, specialized teachers are needed to teach the subject. An old man from the countryside who knows Mongolian way of living can teach the subject. My mother can teach the subject. From the government, we are giving the opportunity to include the subject which will introduce Mongolian way of living and culture, furthermore how Mongolians have treated our great history, the respect of young generation to the old generation and what Mongolians have taught to their children in official primary and secondary school’s academic programs.

The second is the decree of the President which was dicussed within the framework of the Government of Mongolia and has become realized since July 1 of this year. The decree is about to have all documents and letters of civil service will be written in old Mongolian script in future. Since July 1 I have sent all greetings, letters and congratulatory notes to Heads of State in old Mongolian script. Thus starting from the President to people of all levels of civil service realize this decree, send greetings in old Mongolian scripts and further change official government relations into old Mongolian script in future.

Many veteran philologists, scholars and scientists those studied and worked for the vertical script – old Mongolian script have proposed me the above suggestion when I was serving as the Prime Minister and the President. The work began to be realized and this issue needs to be supported by active support of the Government, related ministries and people in related sectors.

We Mongolians should know how to write in old Mongolian script, be proud of our old Mongolian script, know and feel the wonders of the old Mongolian script and can communicate with others by the script. The step to realize this is beginning to be implemented from this year. I think many Mongolists of many countries work for this and have paid attention to this matter.

Next decree of the President was issued at the initiation of Mongolists from a congress of Mongolists. This year Mongolia has been commemorating the 2220th anniversary of the establishment of Mongolian Statehood. We are talking this as the Hunnu Empire (the Hunnic Empire) was established on Mongolian territory 2220 years ago. Many Mongolists including Mongolian and international scholars and scientists proved that Hunnu Empire is Mongolia and Mongolia is Hunnu. The way of living, culture and everything of Hunnus are same as the ones of Mongolia. Thus it is considered that the first nomadic statehood established by Hunnus on Mongolian soil is the beginning of Mongolian Statehood established by Mongolians.

Every nation is interested in seeing her history fully towards its very beginning. Mongolians have the same interests too. Consequently, the decrees of the President of Mongolia were issued and we have marked the 2220th anniversary of Mongolian Statehood and the 100th anniversary of the National Freedom Revolution that restored Mongolia’s independence. We have also commemorated many historic anniversaries such as the 805th anniversary of the establishment of Great Mongolian State that enthroned Chinggis Khaan (Genghis Khan), the 90th Anniversary of the People’s Revolution and the 50th Anniversary of Mongolia becoming a Member of the United Nations this year. We determined historic events, even anniversaries of which will be celebrated every 10 years.

Every person who knows Mongolia will celebrate the anniversary of the establishment of the Great Mongolian State every 10 year. I would like to say that all these are the result of many year efforts of our scholars and scientists to make this matter as government policy.

This year is a good year for Mongolia. And this is felt when many Mongolists came to Mongolia. Nice summer has come to our country. Nationwide spirits of Mongolians have enlightened these good days.

Mongolists gathering in the capital of Mongolia and discussing their researches are a marvelous event refreshing good deeds of intellectuals and books. This event is continuing in the capital of Mongolia. Thus participation in this event itself is great deeds. Researching and contributing to the Mongol studies is magnificent deeds for scholars and researchers. The tradition of studying history and culture of Mongolia will continue. We Mongolians are planning to celebrate the 850th anniversary of Genghis Khan next year.

Recently many conferences on Mongolian history have been organized. The global acceptance of the history and tradition of Mongolia will continue. UNESCO Secretary General Irina Bokova recently visited Mongolia and guaranteed the enlisting of many Mongolian heritages namely Naadam Festival, old Mongolian script and so on to UNESCO World Heritage List as well as registering rock paintings in Altai range of mountains in UNESCO’s Cultural Heritage List. International conference of Hunnuists will take place in Ulaanbaatar on August 27, 2011. Hunnu topic will be discussed again at the conference. Scholars and scientists those spent many sleepless nights for their researches for many years will have a nice opportunity to introduce their findings to the world at the coming conference.

There are many issues in Mongol studies. Among them historic issues are vital, I think. It is important to write history in its reality and scholars should not twist or misguide history in their writings. In my motherland the misguiding issue disappeared a long time ago. Writing history in accordance with ideology vanished in the past 20 years. The good and bad accounts of history are both needed to be written. History should be shown in its reality. These possibilities are here today. When we consider Mongolian history of only the beginning of the 20th century, the history of VIII Bogd Jibzundamba Khan and other statesmen namely Soliin Danzan and Dogsomyn Bodoo are being written in its reality today. This is good. Twisting history used to be widespread in the studies of Mongolian history. It is time to show the history in reality now.

Among our history’s unresearched period, Mongolian history of Manchurian era has not been studied. It is proper to pay attention to this direction. The progress of sciences on Mongolian territory has history of at least 2000 years. During these 2000 years, astronomy, mathematics, and medical and agricultural sciences have developed and these are spectacular subjects to study. I will not repeat here that lots of notes and artifacts of Mongolian ethnicity in many languages remain in many corners of the world. You know this very well.

Mongolia has been entering into the way of intensive development. We made political and economic transition towards a society where human rights and freedom are respected. Mongolia is the country which made the change on the level of attracting global attention. Thus Mongolia is chairing the Community of Democracies from this year.

We have tradition that even at home Mongolians discuss any issue and listen to the issue from many facets and make a well thought decision on the issue. Human rights and freedom talks have been here in our country for a long time. In addition, our economy is going to develop intensively.

Artifacts found on Mongolian territory recently are attracting global attention. Some countries give back their findings from Mongolian soil to our country. Recently a big event was held in the Embassy of the Russian Federation in Ulaanbaatar and the Russian side returned their restored artifacts found from Hunnu tomb on Noyon Mountain in Mongolia to Mongolian side. Artifacts those can be said as a sole copy on the globe are found from Mongolian soil.

It is clear that Mongolian land which is centrally located in Asia was an important location for hundreds of thousand years since homo sapiens emerged. Thus the issues to be discussed at this congress are important.

I deeply appreciate Mongolists particularly international scholars and scientists those are working in the field of Mongol studies. When I receive Ambassadors to or from Mongolia, I always say three things. One of them is that I ask them to support scholars and scientists those work in Mongol studies. I give them directions that at least, please invite and meet the scholars and scientists at their embassies, and pay attention to make the work of scholars and scientists to be introduced to Mongolians. Also I tell them if incentives and state awards are appropriate for the scholars, please submit the official proposals to us.

I think that Mongol studies are the amazing contribution of scholars and scientists for the development and progress of Mongolia. Studying the history of Mongolia - sovereign, independent country of free people and make the history details available to the world is a wonderful contribution of the individuals, scholars and scientists with good minds to the development of our country as well as the progress of the human beings, I consider.

When I was serving as the Prime Minister of Mongolia, I supported the proposals of the Mongolian Academy of Sciences and Mongolists to hold summer school on Mongol studies. The summer school on Mongol studies began to develop intensively past three years. The President of the Mongolian Academy of Sciences told me that 27 people of nine countries attended the summer school recently.

Mongolists lack young generation. I mentioned above the names of some well known Mongolists. Preparing your young generation is vital. I would like to appeal to you international scholars and scientists to prepare your students and apprentices. Please suggest us the President and the Govenment of Mongolia any support you need for this matter. We are open to get your proposal.

Mongol studies are important. The new generation of Mongolists are important in the globalization era. In addition, there are issues of scientific magazines and publications. Mongol studies have been developing on voluntary basis. When Mongolia was in transition to another system of society, Mongol studies were developing on its own without government support. We appreciate you for your efforts to develop Mongol studies until now. Further we need to make the current success of Mongol studies as one of the scientific directions. Mongol studies should develop and Mongolian government has to pay attention to this matter.

At this congress I propose to establish Mongol Studies Foundation. International Association for Mongol Studies should join to establish this foundation. Mongolian government and the President will support this idea. We need to work for this foundation and the foundation should work for Mongolists anywhere in the world.

Some Mongolian scholars and scientists proposed to establish Mongol Studies Institute. I support this proposal. It will be magnificent opportunity if Mongolia establishes such an institute, train many international students, deepen, support and actively work for Mongol studies and prepare the students of Mongolists and send them to you.

There are many high and low quality universities in Mongolia. Nonetheless, Mongol Studies Institute is missing. From this year Mongolian government is supporting students those study for tertiary education. The students will receive stipends from the government.

In our country stipends were given to students during socialist era. Rich countries give bigger amounts of stipends. On average, governments fund 50 percent of the financing of their tertiary education. In Europe governments fund 80 percent of the financing of higher education. In Mongolia government funding is for tertiary education is nine percent. Mongolia’s Law on Higher Education Financing was adopted. Lots of work has been done in this direction. The main field of studies that should have official scholarships from Mongolian government is Mongol studies and we should give stipends to students those study Mongol studies. The government made decision to support the proposal. It should be implemented and developed further. Today sacred days are continuing to discuss and debate on Mongol studies and history and tradition of Mongolians. As the saying goes trace of books is sacred.

I signed another decree a few minutes ago. During my visits abroad, I have always paid attention, supported, awarded, and valued the labor of Mongolists, scholars and scientists those are working to develop Mongol studies since being elected as the President of Mongolia.

Today I am conferring state awards to Mongolian and international Mongolists those have worked in Mongol studies sector and some people those have worked at International Association for Mongol Studies for many years. For example, Dr. Tsogt-Ochir Ishdorj has worked in Mongol studies sector for 25 years. I have just signed a decree to confer upon him the title of Honored Scientific Worker of Mongolia.

As the President and Head of State, I will give all possible support to you Mongolists, scholars and scientists. I wish much more success for your sacred deeds for which you devoted your life as studying and supporting Mongolian great heritage, connecting Mongolia to the globe much closer.

Let Mongol studies be more flourished. Let Mongolian history continue to our successors continuously.

Thank you.