Beyond the Book: Background information when reading The Blue Sky

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The Blue Sky

A Novel

by Galsan Tschinag

The Blue Sky by Galsan Tschinag
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  • First Published:
    Sep 2006, 192 pages
    Paperback:
    Nov 2007, 224 pages

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Beyond the Book

To reach the homeland of the Tsengel Tuvans one has to travel to the furthest western corner of Mongolia, to the High Altai mountains to a province the size of the Netherlands, bordering China. More than 90% of the population of the area are Kazakh Muslims, the remaining 10% are Khalkh, Urinakhai, Khoshuud and Tuvans.

The Tuvans are a Turkic-speaking people (i.e. their spoken language belongs to the Turkic family; other Turkic speaking countries include Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and, of course, Turkey). Today, about 4,000 of Mongolia's approx 2.3 million population identify themselves as Tuvan. Tschinag writes in The Caravan that the Mongolian majority's regard for the Tuvans brings to mind the Chinese's regard for the Tibetans or the Russians for Chechnya. While an...

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