Everywhere But Home

News and musings from wherever my crazy life takes me. My body may be back in Illinois, but at least for now, my mind is still in Mongolia.

Taboos and Tiger Time: Addendum

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A few facts gathered from discussing the previous post with the Russian friends:

  • Some gers are fitted with curtains to provide at least a minimal amount of privacy
  • A red rag somewhere on the outside of the ger is the equivalent of hanging a tie (or a shoe, or a sock… while the tie is traditional, I’m sure we’ve all seen plenty of variations) on your door. Only useful during the day, though, given the lack of lighted hallways.
  • Irina confirms that children who grew up in gers have a lot more sexual knowledge than those who did not – which manifests in Mongolian children engaging in or imitating sexual behaviors at a very young age. The Russians find this disturbing and discourage it, but they say that their Mongolian counterparts think of it as normal.

I think this last point is the most interesting. Obviously, we have differing ideas of “normal” competing here, and this intersection is a good place to point out that not all cultures think of children as “innocents” from whom sex should be hidden. I’ve never lived in such a culture before – to the contrary, both of the countries I’ve previously lived in were mostly Catholic – so this is an interesting contrast for me. Anyone know what Buddhism has to say about sex?

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Author: everywherebuthome

Linguist. Fulbright English Teaching Assistant. Expat in Mongolia. Writer. Scout, dancer, gymnast, equestrienne.

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