Mongolian Immigrants in Los Angeles Feel Economic Pull of Homeland

One of the perks of living in a city like Los Angeles, is the rich cultural diversity you get to experience on a daily basis (if you get of your car, that is). If you ever want to feel like you’ve traveled without leaving too far, come to L.A. Dig beyond the city’s gimmicky Hollywood facade and you’ll find everything from Ethiopia, Japan, India, Russia, Iran and even the UK under one roof.

Even for the most versed Angeleno however, there are so many parts and people of the city that remain hidden. For a reporter who loves a challenge, L.A. has many.

One community that remains virtually unseen is L.A.’s Mongolian Diaspora, who number only in the thousands and live tucked away mostly in the confines of Koreatown.

A resilient, hardworking and welcoming group of people, Mongolians began settling across Europe and the U.S. after the fall of the Soviet Union.

Many found their way to the states to further their education. In L.A., the Mongolian community is young, so young in fact, that with an economic boom in their homeland taking place, many are considering the decision to move back.

This is the topic of an article I wrote for EurasiaNet this month that which you can read here.

With an economic downturn in the U.S., and plenty of job opportunities in Mongolia, the possibility of repatriation is on many minds.

The photos are here were all taken by me at the yearly Mongolian Nadaam (literally meaning “Games”) Festival in July 2012, where I ate cheese kurds and listened to traditional Mongolian music. More photos can be found here.

 

Photos ©/by Liana Aghajanian

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