Thinking on the Modernization of Current Nomadic Culture in Inner Mongolia

By | 2013年12月28日 | 1,342 views

By Ulaanbagan-a, Bayar (Inner Mongolian Teacher’s University), translated from Mongolian into English by Delger

In the 20th century, the human society comes into a rapid progress. The modernization is an absolute way of main developing method for any nationality or country. It not only gives an opportunity to them, but also makes them faced with a competition. The achievement of modernization is not the problem, but how we complete the modernization, is the main topic. In this paper, we just based on the Inner Mongolian special development of history and culture, trying to research the problems of modernization of the modern Mongolian nomadic culture.


ONE The General Ideas of Modernization


It is a very popular topic to talk about the modernization. There are many scholars have studied on the problems of modernization and said their different ideas in social studies. Such as Mr. R.Ward, an American scholar, regards as the general ideas or concepts of a modern society is the using of technologies of science, energies, many kind of financial methods, decisions for the economical policies and the level of the objective life, according to the social economy. Mr. S.Huntington, an American scholar, regards a modern society is a political authorities for the whole country, from the political concerning, the very benefits of a certain government or a party. It is a kind of new organization of management and a new principle, in which including concepts of politics, military and law. In the modern society, the philosophical authority will take place the authorities of the traditional and religious, families’ or kinship. Some scholars regarded that the knowledge is the main engine of the modern society, based on the science and technologies, it have changed the structures of the work, society, authority, management system and social ideologies. Some are regarded that the modernization is a kind of ideological phenomena or a case of thought, just according to the evaluation of thoughts of the human beings. Others said that a modern society is a complicated and a whole system of a society; therefore, we should study it from different subjects and different ways. Mr. Inkeies said that modernization of a society is a kind of system and it is composed of much different kind of systems. There are four parts in a social system, such as economy, politics, social service and social culture. A society is modernized or not, should be systematically decided by several elements. And the manpower is the decisional element among them, no any doubt.

In summary, in systematic theory, social modernization is a way of change and development of a society. It is a process of an evaluation of society which lead with development of science and technology, take the modernization of the human as main part and having revolutionary aspects. The modernization of a society is not only a concept of a time, but also a very complicated and plentiful concerning about a society. So, there have been formed many different kinds of ideas about the determination of the modern society among the people from different politics, economy, culture and tradition.

In the process of the modernization of a society, the main part of the modernization, the modernization of the man belongs to the high changes of thoughts and activities. It is quite difficult to give a determination to the modernization of the man, because there has a lack of studies about the subjects of how to achieve to the human modernization. But we regarding the modernization of the man is process of development of thoughts of a nationality, as traditional thoughts and activities changed and developed higher than the original ones, there appearing the quality changes in a nationality ideology, in the transition from traditional society to a modern society, based on our analyses with the modernization achievement study.


TWO The Characters of Modern Nomadic Culture of Inner Mongolia


The modernization is an inevitable progress of a modern society, its approach differs from nation to nation, depends on the different situations in different countries. Therefore, in the study of modernization, should be pay attention to the differences between the nationalities and their specific characters. There are some characters in Inner Mongolian modern nomadic culture, showing as follows:

(1) The Comprehensiveness. The comprehensiveness of a culture is an extensiveness of the internal structure of a culture. For example, less force for rules but rather consciousness, spiritual moderate, and keeping fair on communication with others and exclude less to other cultures. These are very clear characters of Mongolian nomadic life. Mongolians are have characters of very direct contacting, open mind , hospitality, a deep respect to the elders, a deep love to the children, fair rights for man and woman, independent rights to the children and democratic relations to the family members in their daily life, etc.

(2) The Evaluation. The Modernization is a developing way that every nation couldn’t be avoided. Mongolian nomadic culture also confronted with many kinds of competition and development by the era and the influences of the other cultures. There occurred very clear changes in the methods of existence and thoughts and characters of Mongols. So, the evaluation provided a very good opportunity for Inner Mongolians to change their traditional thoughts, ways of life and to move into the modernization.

(3) The Contradiction. The evaluation brings the inevitable conflict between the traditional culture and modern culture. In Inner Mongolia, there are many nationalities living together, therefore, there appears contradiction in its original cultural structure and the contradiction will continue a certain time. This contradiction from internal structure of Mongolian culture after receiving the other cultures, will make Mongolian nomadic life come to multicultural.

(4) The Multicultural Character. The multicultural aspect is a common character of many countries in the modern world today. Our region is a minority autonomous region that consists of Mongolian nationality as the main nation and the Han Chinese as the majority and many other nationalities. And it also borders with many other countries. Therefore, Mongolian traditional culture now combining with other cultures and influencing each other very deeply, so that Mongolian nomadic culture comes to multicultural period and its economy, politics, culture and ideology have greatly influencing and changing.


THREE On the Modernization of Mongolian Nomadic lives in Inner



I. Conditions for Approaching of Modernization in Inner Mongolian Nomadic Life

According to forgoing analysis, modernization is an inevitable developing way of a nationality and there should be formed a certain conditions for the approaching of the modernization. The Mongolian nomadic life today, if wants to come to the modernization, there should be formed the conditions as follows:

At first, to do rearrangement for the existing methods and to fasten the economical constructions. In Inner Mongolian herding area, there are still going their primitive means of production, the nomadic life. This kind of existing methods are not fitting to the social development and necessaries, especially not fitting for the modernization. Because the herding method of living on natural pasture is very vulnerable with disasters. In production, the man couldn’t control the process of production and the natural conditions. And lacking so much scientific and technological methods so that it couldn’t catch the way of world economy. So, there needed ideological modernization and ways of economical modernization in Mongolian national modernization, at first.

Secondly, to develop and maintain education greatly, educate a big class of talented personals. It becomes a common idea that the education is a key development for the modern world. There is no a developed country with a poor or backward of education. Although Inner Mongolian national education is developing quite good in these years, but still couldn’t match with the necessaries of modernization for Mongolian nomadic life.

Thirdly, to ensure the ecological balance and the long lasting development. Because of many kinds of natural and social problems, the ecological balance of Inner Mongolian grassland has been destroyed and pastures go worse, rainfall go less, deserts became wider and flood and snow disasters threatening the life of the herdsmen. It’s not only decreasing economical growth but also threatening the life condition of the generation and blocking the progress of modernization.

II. The Impetus of the Modernization of Nomadic Culture

As any culture’s modernization, Mongolian nomadic culture also starts with two kinds of beginnings. That is, the active change of the main structure of the culture and the changes of the traditional culture by the influence of the other cultures. The first one is the internal reason of the change and development of a culture. To change and develop the culture with a certain goal according to the construction need of the culture is considered as a process of conscious activity. But second one is the external reasons or condition of the development of a culture. Although the other culture gives conflicts and press on the native culture and shaking the base of its stationed contents, it couldn’t change the original body of a culture. When there appears a same need both for the native and external culture, the non-native culture may become the possible motive power. But it is still not the main power for the cultural development. The conflict between the tradition and the modern culture is the real motive power of a culture’s change and development. Of course, this is also the impetus of the Mongolian nomadic culture. But process of development of a culture is a very complicated one and its motive power is also a very complicated system.

III. Samples of Modernization of the Nomadic Culture

Although there is no ready-made sample for Mongolian modernization, several hundreds years of experiences of the west European modernization may become some references to the very problem. The western modernization process experienced three kinds of modernization periods, such as the internal change, the internal and external interaction and external function. The internal change is the natural starting modernization or internal evaluation. It is a long period of evaluation of historical process formed under the condition of a new modernization power that never exists before rose continuously in it. In this process, the newly appeared power of the west Europe chosen two kinds of choices: they had their culture expanded to the outside world, and repaired their lack in modernization and made the world developed the west Europe; then they depend on the modernization power in their traditional culture, made themselves strong with the innovates. The policies of innovation are the main reason for the whole modernization process of the west Europe, based on the modernization to the traditional culture. The innovation has a very close relation to the structure of society. Generally speaking, there have only possibilities to innovation activities in a society of rather dispersed authorities, multicultural social structure, potential social motive power and rising social activities. There have plenty of innovation ideas and spirits in Mongolian nomadic culture. And also has possibilities for samples of innovation in its internal structure. So, we should maintain the samples and spirits of innovation in Mongolian nomadic culture.

The clear characters of internal and external interaction: first, values of innovation are generally accepted. In later developed countries, such as America and Australia, there has no long period of limitation of traditional power and a long history. In these countries, the thought of people not tied by the heavy tradition and values of the innovation accepted popularly as a kind of thought of the value. Therefore, they find a way of modernization that mainly caused by the internal change or development of their own culture. Secondly, they carried out open policies at the same time. Thirdly, thanks to the pre-developed countries of the west Europe as their sample of modernization, these countries not repeated the process of modernization in the west Europe, and directly carried out the high opening and developing policies and made their modernization quicken and formed the sample of external functioned development.

When some countries or nation have prepared the internal modernization, and complete the development by external function or competition, is regarded as the external functioned modernization sample. This kind of development formed the conflict between the traditional culture and modern culture and brings double problems. To escape from these problems, there have to kinds of methods: the one is to close the door, the other is to open the door, and you had to choose one of them. The basic escaping way is the later one.

It is difficult to say which one is fit to the process of development in modernization of Inner Mongolian nomadic culture, as samples was talked above. But all they have enlightening values for us. It is a very hard answer to choose a sample for a country or nation’s development, we should investigate and understand the condition of the region systematically and understand the tendency of development of the time and the world. In the development of Mongolian nomadic culture modernization, we suggest the sample of synthetic development: samples of long lasting development, samples of periodical development, samples of jumping development, samples of education go first and samples of ideological progress, etc. It is important to find out which sample is best fit for the needs of development and condition of the region both from the theory and practice.

In summary, modernization is the main character of the modern world development. And it is not a time idea but a social evaluation with a whole system. It not only contains modernization of the economy, but also contains the political modernization and cultural modernization. And also, it is a process of revolutionary change of a society with the man modernization as its main concept. Inner Mongolian nomadic culture is a special culture, has the characters of multicultural, evaluation, comprehensive and contradiction. In the process of modernization of Inner Mongolian nomadic culture, it is important to change the existing policies, quicken the economical development, maintain the education and potential personnel power, protect the ecological balance, master the possibilities of long lasting progress, refer to the samples of modernized countries world today. The work of choosing the fitful modernization way to the Inner Mongolian nomadic culture is an urgent task of the time, ecological balance protect and existence of the herdsmen.