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  • Gordon Dumoulin

Amazing roads China | Reindeer going home in China's northernmost....

Oreqon herders bringing reindeer home

from the vast grassland steppes

in China’s northernmost Hulunbuir 呼伦贝尔市 ᠬᠥᠯᠥᠨ ᠪᠤᠶᠢᠷ ᠬᠣ

Hulunbuir is China’s northernmost prefecture city in #InnerMongolia Autonomous Region (alongside 大兴安岭地区 Daxing'anling Prefecture in the north of #Heilongjiang province). Hulunbuir is governed as a prefecture level city but the actual land area covers about 265,000 km2, larger than the UK with a population of only 2.5 million (and larger than all but 8 Chinese province-level divisions, and by the way more than 42 U.S. states).

Hailar district 海拉尔区 • ᠬᠠᠶᠢᠯᠠᠷ ᠲᠣᠭᠣᠷᠢᠭ serves as the government administration seat of Hulunbuir with a population of 365,000, connected to the west line of the Trans-Siberian railway.

The prefecture city borders 100’s of kilometers along #Russia with vast stretches of grasslands, the Greater Khingan Range; a 1,200km volcanic mountain stretch, forests and Hulun lake, one of the five largest lakes in China. Winters are long, dry and cold with average temperatures of −25 celcius in January (going down to -40/45 celcius at days and short wet summers with average temperature in July of 20 celcius.

The land of Hulunbuir has been witness to a turbulent recent history of Russian and Japanese occupations but has been part of the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region since the establishment of the People’s Republic of China in 1949 (except for during the Cultural Revolution when it was briefly restored to Heilongjiang province).

Despite its small population, the prefecture city is home to a mixture of different ethnic minorities besides Han (80%) with Mongols almost 10%, Daur almost 5%, Hui muslims 2.5% and Evenks (or Ewenki) and Oroqen each about 1%. The Daur are a mongolic minority, mostly living in Morin Dawa Daur Autonomous Banner (region) in Hulunbuir with their own language Daun and is one of the official 56 ethnic minorities in China.

The Evenks and Oroqen minorities are Tungusic people, native to Siberia and North Asia and each with their own Tungusic language (though similar to each other) and distinct cultures. Both minorities are also recognized as official ethnic minority, living in autonomous regions in Hulunbuir and represented in the People's Republic of China's Congress by their own delegate.

The endonym Oroqen means "people who keep reindeer, reindeer herders."

The ethnic Russians minority (俄罗斯族) comprises as well a tiny part of the Hulunbuir population, about 4,000 people (25% of the total ethnic Russian minority population in China). Most live in Enhe Russian Ethnic Township 恩和俄罗斯民族乡 in Hulunbuir. The ethnic Russian minority (Russians having lived their entire life in China as Chinese citizens) is as well one the 56 official ethnic minorities.

A unique vast land of nature, silence, ethnicity, diversity with a weight of histories…

#china #china2022 #chinaroads #chinanature #ethnicminorities #chineseculture #chinesesociety #5iz #5izchina

Video source : naturesms IG/Douyin

Picture sources :, china.orgcn, xinhua, globaltimes, weibo

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