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Black, Beautiful & Mongolian

Black, Beautiful & Mongolian

With dark skin, curly hair, and full Mongolian apple cheeks, Inolda smiles to me through our first Skype video call. The reason I interview her is unique. Hailing from Erdenet, the second largest city in Mongolia, Inolda is one of Mongolia’s handful of African-Mongolians whose biological father is from Mozambique. Currently living and working in Ulaanbaatar, she talks to me about growing up as the only little black girl in Erdenet.

There are currently no clear numbers on exactly how many Afro-Mongolians live in Mongolia. What is clear however is that many were born in the 80s and 90s, raised either overseas, in Mongolia, or in between. While migration patterns has been cause for the Mongolian diaspora to create more black Mongolians around the world, the question of black Mongolian identity in Mongolia is a curious one worth recognising.

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Mishell Hernandez is a Mexican Mongolian ‘third culture kid’ from Washington DC who studies the experiences of half Mongolians born in the 80s and 90s. She takes an interest in multiculturalism, multilingualism, and mixed race identity politics and blogs about it from time to time on Spangolian. When she’s not researching, Mishell likes to watch good films, eat tacos, and make new friends in no particular order.

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