Saturday, June 12, 2004

Too many Khans, not enough Indians 

A heart-warming if rather bizarre story from Mongolia, where citizens have to invent their new surnames. Under communism, surnames were banned in this Central Asian country and people forced to rely just on their first names. Sounds like something from Orwell, doesn't it?

"Now, to fight incest and make official records more intelligible, the Government has set a deadline of June 27 for all 2.5 million Mongolians to choose a family name on pain of a fine equivalent to several months' salary."
The result? There are already 500 Mongolians in the capital city of Ulan Bator alone, calling themselves Genghis Khan.

Having a miniscule amount of Mongol blood in me (from Tartar tribesmen who settled in eastern Poland in the 16th century), I can only say: good on you. It's finally possible to put out the Mongolian edition of the White Pages.


This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?