‘Culture and Heritage of Xiongnu Empire’ Scientific Conference

On July 10 President Ts.Elbegdorj gave a speech at the opening ceremony for the ‘Culture and Heritage of Xiongnu Empire’ Scientific Conference at the President of Mongolia patronage. He cordially greeted and welcomed as an esteemed guest, the UNESCO Director General, the scientists, ladies and gentlemen in attendance. “The UNESCO Director General has arrived with a big gift for us,” said the President. “In 2010 Mongolia’s National Naadam Festival and its Hoomii Singing were registered as intangible cultural heritages for all humanity. In 2011, the Altan Tovchu
and Shunhan Danjuur were also registered as world cultural heritages. Just recently the Director General has handed over the registration certificate for the Altai Mountain rock pictures as a UNESCO heritage,” he added.

“I exchanged the view with the Director General that Mongolia is one of rare international nations that has built up a great history in the world and has left the mark of its great culture and civilization. Indeed, there is no other nation in the world that has created and exported such a tremendous history as the Mongolian people have.

Today we are hosting a significant scientific conference relating to the history of the Hunnu State and it is very important that UNESCO’s Director General is participating therein. A considerable period has passed since a human being first stood up on two feet from the hot African desert; I think the land of Mongolia was one of places where that human being discovered the form of his lifestyle. Scholars and researchers have calculated the time of his origin by several thousand years. Indeed, Mongolia, with its particular style of life and social structures, is a place where human beings lived in the early stages of their development,. I would like to mention that ‘Hunnu is Mongolia and Mongolia is Hunnu’. To-date Mongolia has recorded 2220 years of official Statehood. It would then be better not to talk about the Hunnu State but about the 2220th anniversary of founding Mongolia’s Statehood. We are not merely celebrating the anniversary of some power or state - to my mind we are celebrating the governing skills and talents of this great state created by our ancestors, the history of which is calculated in thousands of years. In general we must understand ‘Hunnu as Mongolia and Mongolia as Hunnu’. We must remember the words uttered by the great Natsagdorj who said ‘The land of our ancestors belonged to the Hunnu, Sunnu era.’ No one would deny that this is the land of our great ancestors, I think.

Judging from their mode of life, as investigated by our scientists have researched, and also from historic events, there is no great difference in our present mode of life or in the environment in which we are living today. For example: the Naadam National Holiday we are celebrating every year and which has been registered by UNESCO; the melodies we play and songs we sing are the same Mongolian melodies and songs. If considered from the land and area point of view, the Modun Shan’yu King Palace was situated in the Hangai Mountain ranges in the Orkhon River
valley; as proven by the scientists. Our ancestors lived in exactly this area judging from their way of life. On the other hand, judging from the territory and area in which they lived, as well as from their social and military organization and structure, I personally think that Chinggis Khan’s famous Empire emerged in not merely in an empty place or space - it was a time of good tradition when the State numbered hundreds of thousands, I believe.
This remarkable tradition was carefully studied by Chinggis Khan. I think, after inheriting it from his parents and from the environment in which he lived, he skillfully developed this tradition further and left it to the generations following. Indeed, it was and remains a marvelous tradition! Our ancestors have left this centurieslong military organization, social mode of life, further developed to world standards as an inheritance for our future generations.

The renowned ‘Silk Road’ connecting the ancient Asian and European civilizations has been spoken of since Hunnu times. This ancient Road is not merely a simple trade-route to exchange goods or accommodate caravans of camel merchants; it is more aptly described as a culture - a place to share different cultures and civilizations - it was a mainstream of cultural civilization. In the so-called Hunnu graveyards today we find the remains of Roman, Greek, Egyptian and Iranian civilizations. I am surprised at what a marvelous civilization our ancestors created in the area we are occupying today. All Mongolians must remain proud of and value this unique treasure.
I am very pleased that our scientists and scholars have drawn attention to this particular matter and have arranged this important conference. The UNESCO Director General’s arrival to participate in person has given it more impetus, once again underlining, as the aim of today’s gathering, that the duty of this prestigious international organization is to preserve and safeguard humanity’s cultural heritages.
To my mind, culture is an immense and valuable tool, interlinking humanity and the world’s peoples. We have much to do in this direction. I have decreed the creation of a history and culture center for the world’s nomads. This idea is being well supported by our scholars and scientists. Mongolia is the center of the world’s nomadic culture and civilization and we should declare this without any hesitation. In their initial stages every country and every culture was of a nomadic nature. Mongolians, who are inseparably connected to this centuries-long world culture and
civilization, and whose significant participation in life today remains related to this cultural heritage, must set up the World Nomadic History and Culture Centre in their own country, Mongolia.

President Ts.Elbegdorj speaks about Mongolia’s glorious history at the conference

Now let’s take a look at more recent history. Ten days have passed since Mongolia’s election to chair the World Democratic Society. I am not talking about the 20 years of democratic victory in this country - I am talking about its 2,000 years, and about its 20,000 years; the social organization required when the leader of a tribe has been chosen to develop his country to attract other societies within the world community. I am not only talking about Mongolia; I am talking about global experience and global evaluation. In earlier times the people assembled and elected
Chinggis Khan as their leader, thus introducing the excellent tradition of electing their khans.
I talked to Director General about hosting, in cooperation with UNESCO, a 2012 international seminar on history of democracy, on democratic education and training, in Mongolia; inviting all interested countries. The choice of democracy, in itself, is the choice of peace and progress. We see what is happening in the Arabian countries, how the people of this continent are fighting to be happy and free. Perhaps they will cross the same difficult path as we have during the past 20 years. We must offer help to Arabia’s people”, the President said.
“We are talking about holding out a helping hand to Latin America’s democracy, to Arabia’s democracy and to other countries where new democracies are emerging for all people fighting for their rights today. Working as Chairman of this World Democratic Society for the next two years we will do all we can help these nations whilst they are struggling.
Mongolia will be an example they can follow and we will work in close cooperation with other international organizations.
I am truly grateful to UNESCO’s Director General and his accompanying party for their participation at this scientific conference. From today we are officially celebrating the 2220th anniversary of Mongolian Statehood. Races for 2- and 3-year olds started today. Tomorrow we will celebrate our official Naadam Holiday. We will also be celebrating: the 100th anniversary
of the Liberation Movement; the 90th anniversary of Mongolia’s Popular Revolution; and the 805th anniversary of Great Mongolia. I am happy that this current scientific conference has dovetailed with these significant events.
Not least, I would like to express my profound gratitude to all the scientists who have come to devote their efforts and energy to studying Mongolia’s great history and enhancing it with new facts. Today is also the day when more academics are to be capped and I shall have the pleasure of handing their certificates to them and congratulating them on their scholastic achievements.”
“I wish all of you great success,” said President Ts. Elbegdorj.



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