January 4, 2007
Prof Jascha Kessler
Mure Dickie's discussion of the "Sinification" of Genghis Khan,
in his report on the redevelopment as a tourist site of the
emperor's "mausoleum" in Inner Mongolia's Ordos prefecture
("China claims Genghis Khan as one of its own", December 29)
could be misleading if readers assume the Mongol ruler was
buried there. In fact, the true location of his final resting
place remains unknown.
has it that while riding with his command one glorious day over
the Ordos steppeland, the khan dropped his quirt, and when
someone made to retrieve it, ordered it to be left where it
fell, declaring he wished to be buried here where his heart was
most at home.
he died on his final campaign against the Xixia, his body was
not carried off until a month later, after they had been utterly
summer and the Mongol forces were far from home. Because some
source records indicate that Genghis Khan's people descended
from one of the tribes resident originally in north-eastern
China, it is comprehensible that scholars today will claim
Chinese origin for him.
topsyturvy about Mr Dickie's commentary is its argument that
Beijing is pouring subsidies into Inner Mongolia to "communise"
it, when what seems rather the case, so far as those have had
on-the-spot dealings for projects have learned, is that the
Inner Mongolian autonomous region is wagging the dog, extracting
funds from the central government to promote its own interest,
much as is the case with modern countries around the globe.
Professor of English and Modern Literature,
Angeles, CA 90095, US