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Mongolia – Salesians: heirs of Don Bosco, active in publishing and communication

10 February 2020

(ANS - Darkhan) - Fr Simon Lee, a Salesian missionary from South Korea, has been working in Mongolia for 18 years and has been stationed in Darkhan, in the north-central area of the country for over 12 years. Following Don Bosco's example and his passion for spreading the good press, Fr Lee is giving great impetus to the activities of the local Salesian publishing house, "Don Bosco Media", aware of the importance of this service, especially in a context where the Christian presence is very small (just over 2.2%).

How many books in Mongolian have you published so far?

A total of 141 titles of books were printed by Don Bosco Media, including also two Don Bosco movies and eight short animation Bible stories were subtitled in Mongolian. At the present time, we are working on the Old Testament in Mongolian on YouTube channel (15 parts), the climate crisis and two short movies for human development.

What is the best-selling book-title so far?

Among our production list are 45 titles of catechetical books, 90 titles for general education that are distributed in the rural schools free of charge and another 6 titles of Don Bosco's preventive system in Mongolian for the use of the Salesian Family.

What percentage of your books are translations?

Yes, indeed all of our publications are titles translated: 95% from Korean, 3% from English and 2% from Italian. We dream about future Mongolian production.

What do your staff – lay mission partners do?

We have one full-time translator from Korean to Mongolian, another three staff members in charge of English translations (Strenna, Letter of the Rector Major), and a graphic PC design and digital video editing (YouTube) specialist.

What is your main satisfaction in the DB Media ministry?

I’m very glad to launch the Bible hand-writing movement within the Mongolia Catholic Church and translation of the deutero-canonical books (Maccabees, Judith, Tobit, Wisdom, Daniel, Baruch). Also our consistent commitment to the free distribution of our publications in poor village schools (teenager magazine and children’s science textbooks).

What is your main challenge in the publishing ministry?

Within the context of nomadic culture, the “documentation or storage culture” is not yet developed and books are not read very often. A great jump from the nomadic culture towards (digital) IT culture is happening. This nomadic culture is transformed into a digital culture, that is expressed also in the fast YouTube contents transformation. There is also an economic drawback since we are not able to get permission as a publishing house. The translation and publishing activity is just “home-based” within our Mongolian social-religious context. Due to the importation of the printing materials from abroad, the book price is quite high and most of our books are just freely distributed among the Catholic community with some little contribution.

Source: AustraLasia

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