Neo-Traditionalism in Self-Identification in Modern Mongolia

Tatiana D. Skrynnikova


This article deals with the national language-discourse of post-socialist Mongolia, based on the symbolism of the “roots” and “blood and soil” typical of the identity’s practices of the modern Mongolian society. The self-identification is realized in accordance with the existing common ideas of belonging to some larger whole. The formation of the Mongolian identity by the ruling elite in the late 20th century was based on the historical paradigms of self-identification worked out much earlier. The language of that discourse is not solely designed by the national elite and reflected in the media, scholarly publications, and literature; it finds its way into everyday life. The language gets saturated with archaic ideas supplemented with the “invented tradition”. For most of the Mongolian world, especially important for the reconstruction of the identification notions are presently the lexemes “Mongolian Empire” and “Chinggis-Khan” which have acquired a high semiotic status in forming the ethnic self-identification and political mythology. They have become mythologemes or ideologemes implicitly restoring the textual myth with its symbolism and ritual.



language-discourse, self-identification, Mongolia, “roots”, “blood and soil”, Mongolian Empire, Chinggis-Khan.

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