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Minority Education in ChinaBalancing Unity and Diversity in an Era of Critical Pluralism$
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James Leibold and Yangbin Chen

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9789888208135

Published to Hong Kong Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.5790/hongkong/9789888208135.001.0001

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How Do You Say “China” in Mongolian?

How Do You Say “China” in Mongolian?

Toward a Deeper Understanding of Multicultural Education in China

(p.65) 3 How Do You Say “China” in Mongolian?
Minority Education in China

Naran Bilik

Hong Kong University Press

In this chapter, Naran Bilik argues that despite the presence of Han linguistic imperialism, there remains a distinct “linguistic-cultural anxiety” in the PRC. On the one hand, there are those that stress the “unity” (yiti) side of Fei Xiaotong’s formula and call for more emphasis on national integration, while on the other hand, there are those that emphasize the “diversity” (duoyuan) side and advocate increased provisions for ethnic pluralism in China. While market forces have sharpened these contradictions, they are also deeply rooted in the history of the Asian continent. Seeking to uncover the fluid and unstable plurality of past notions of “China,” Bilik highlights the polysemy of Chinese terms like minzu, zhongguo, and zhonghua in the Mongolian language, and suggests that by asking and then validating the different ways “you say China in Mongolian,” one can shatter the myth of “mono-cultural centrism” and promote inter-ethnic understanding in China.

Keywords:   Linguistic-cultural anxiety, Mongolian, Mongolia, China, Ethnicity, Mono-cultural centrism, Multicultural education, Multiculturalism, Minority education

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