I have purchased recently a picture book for children called "The Mongols", published in 1994 by Chelsea House Publishers, a division of Main Line Book Co., New York, N.Y.
First published in Great Britain in 1992 by Two-Can Publishing Ltd, London. The author is Robert Nicholson.
The book is designed and meant for school kids, with colorful pictures and drawings on every page and with short sentences made from simple and easy words. All in all, a good source of information for anybody who wants to know who the heck was a Mongol.
I don't want to blame Mr.Nicholson for some mistakes he made in this book, probably based on what he read in other sources which "usually show the Mongols in a very bad light", as he stated, and so just wanna make some correction.
Let's get started.
On page 16, under the title "Woman's work", it says, "...Only the men were allowed to milk the horses because they were considered sacred." Needles to say that the horse was the closest companion of any Mongols and treated always with special care. But sacred? No. And milking was mostly woman's job no matter what animal. So it is not true that men only milked mares. But it should not be considered as an unusual incident when a male person milks a mare or a cow. It is like husbands are making some laundry to get some "credits" from their wives or just because the situation makes it necessary.
Page 18. Under the title "Food" you can read the following sentence: "Dogs, wolves,rats, mice, rabbits and occasionally horses were eaten, boiled or roasted."
|Mongolian Tarvaga (Marmot)|
Now I know why I am "blamed" for "eating" dogs. Like I mentioned earlier, this book is meant for kids and you see how one teaches the kids that the Mongols eat dogs and the kids would believe it and think, what kind of bad people the Mongols are, eating such a lovely creature! And they eat rats and mice too! Ugh!
No wonder why I so many times called as a dog eater. Seriously, that kind of misinformation must be corrected if you want that people or nations really want to know each other!
Thank God we are blessed with so many different domestic and wild animals so that there was no need at all to kill and eat my dog or to "hunt" rats and mice. For God's sake, why would I do that when there was plenty of other delicious meat? We have 5 different type of domestic animals which would meet our needs more than enough: Horses, cows, sheep, goats and camels. And there are many many big wild games I can go hunt if I want. The only small game I occasionally love to hunt and eat is called "Tarvaga" (Mongolian marmot; see the picture) which offers a delicious meat.
So let's get it straight: I don't eat dog, rat or mouse! Yes, I eat horse meat, beef, lamb, goat and camel meat. Clear?!
I don't care (why should I?) if some nations in fact eat dogs, rats and mice. They are people living in my neighborhood (read: Asia) and unfortunately are not so blessed with so many treasures which we have. That is why they are "forced" to look for other creatures to meet their nutrition demands. They are mostly "rice-nations", meaning their main food would be the rice. While our menu is limited to meat plus milk and milk products, they have variety of meals: fish, vegetables, rice, different kind of sea food, worms, rats, snakes, insects, mice, dogs, monkeys...
I know they have dog farms in South Korea and China and sell dog meats. If you watch those different travel channels on TV you can witness how the heroes of those travel shows are having hard time eating these local foods made of snakes, grasshoppers or cockroaches etc., in the countries of Southeast Asia. Well, what the heck? That is the way mankind survives.
On the same page,18, under "Food facts" you can find a highly "offensive" remark which would give the kids also a wrong impression: "Kumiz was a nutritious and highly alcoholic drink made from fermented mare's milk. Mongols often got drunk and were very proud of it." What a propaganda! I am a very proud alcoholic! I object, your honor!
First of all, I should haul you, Mr. Nicholson, to Mongolia to show how much you would have to swallow this kumiz to get drunk. Depending on the quality of this drink he would need to master at least 3 gallons (or 10 liters) in order to become "dizzy". So as you see it is not a "highly" alcoholic drink like Mr.Nicholson stated. There is a different real alcoholic drink, the Mongolian "moonshine" if you will, and it is distilled from milk and so contains no toxins. But this drink is dangerous, meaning it can knock you out very quick although it has a very weak taste or smell.
The way Mr.Nicholson put it like being proud of drunkenness is outrageous! What would the kids be thinking reading such nonsense?
There are many sources, especially on the Internet, and one can get enough information from those many websites. If interested, check the following website too, which I think is one of the good sources worth to check out:www.mongolianculture.com
Lastly, what I am thinking is we should supply the world with the correct information using every possible methods, preferably through printed documents like books, and that might be the only way to deal/fight with such "propaganda". Lack of willingness, initiation and management on our Govenment's part in fact support these misinformation which in return makes me "eat dog meat" and "be a proud alcoholic". And I don't want to have such tags nailed to my face.