Sunday, September 12, 2010

Item From the Past: A Tale of Two Ten Tughrik

In September 1994, we managed to leave Mongolia with two 10-tughrik (or tugrik or tögrög) notes in our possession. These days, 10 tughrik are worth about U.S. 7.6¢, according to the ever-useful I'm not sure what the exchange rate was 16 years ago, but I know that it wasn't hugely different. The denomination was definitely small change. In fact, I don't think anything smaller was circulated then.

One of the notes was an older, beaten up, Communist-era piece of currency.

The other was a crisp, new, post-Communist note.

In the early 1920s, the Republic of China, or at least whichever warlord was running the part of China next to Mongolia, determined to negate Mongolia's recently declared (1911) independence by force. The Mongolians resisted and eventually prevailed, in the sense that the country became a Soviet satellite for many decades, rather than part of the Republic of China and then perhaps the People's Republic.

One of the main Mongolian leaders against the Chinese was Sükhbaatar. He appears on both the older the newer notes. It's interesting that the older note dresses him in strictly military garb -- a specimen of the New Communist Man, maybe -- while the newer one has him looking distinctly Mongolian, a national hero up there with a certain 12th/13th-century Mongolian who kicked ass across Eurasia.

Labels: , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home