Steve barbone barbonestreet at earthlink.net
Fri Nov 26 06:51:40 PST 2004

Hey, Cell Block Seven. This presents a perfect opportunity for you to tour
The Chinese Peoples Republic, plus Inner and Outer Mongolia.

Not the snips below about musical chairs in that part of the world. P{erfect
time to make both the Mongols and Chinese aware of OKOM.

November 26, 2004 ULAN BATOR JOURNAL

The Mongolians Are Coming to China! With Heavy Metal!

ULAN BATOR, Mongolia - China built the Great Wall more than 2,000 years ago
to keep out invaders from the north. But the Chinese are having a harder
time repulsing modern interlopers like these: long-haired Mongolian men in
black, whose office décor features a wolf pelt, a portrait of Genghis Khan
and a music store poster of Eminem.

So the Chinese police got nervous when they heard that Hurd was crossing the
Gobi Desert, coming down from Mongolia, 600 miles to the north. With their
new hit CD, "I Was Born in Mongolia," Hurd, a heavy metal, Mongolian-pride
group, was coming for a three-day tour, culminating Nov. 1 with a
performance in Hohhot, capital of the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.

"The morning we were to get on the train, the translator guy called and said
'Your performances are cancelled,' " Damba Ganbayar, Hurd's keyboardist and
producer, said glumly as he lounged in a white plastic chair. "He said, 'I
will call with details.' I never got the details."

The details, according to reports from Hohhot, were that riot policemen and
trucks surrounded the college campus where the group was to play. They
checked identity cards, detained four people overnight and dispersed about
2,000 frustrated concertgoers into the autumn night.

In the next several days, the Chinese authorities shut down three
Mongolian-language chat forums, according to the Southern Mongolia Human
Rights Information Center, a New York-based group that tracks "Chinese
colonialism" in what some call the southern end of Greater Mongolia.


"Hurd's national pride and love of homeland takes the ethos of Bruce
Springsteen's 'Born in the U.S.A.' to a new level," said Layton Croft, an
American foundation representative and musician here, who attended one of
their concerts in October. "There is a loyal, mostly rural, Mongolian fan
base for such music."


>From the Chinese side, "anything associated with nationalism, separatism,
political rights, they want to suppress it," said an Inner Mongolian trader
here who asked not to be identified.

In the best-known case, a bookstore owner who goes by one name, Hada, is
serving a 15-year sentence after being convicted of separatism in 1996.

But with the canceling of concerts by Hurd and Horda, an Inner Mongolian
band, some fear new restraints on Mongolian cultural expression.

"The government is shutting down a lot of music shops, confiscating a lot of
music tapes," said Enhebatu Togochog, who runs the Southern Mongolian
information center in New York. "They say they are purifying the cultural

END. . . 

NOTE: As you can see, they've created a void which could well be filled by
American Jazz. What better way to "purify the cultural market" then via
non-political protest music? :-) VBG


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