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Polyethnic Scholars at Court

In letters written home by Zhao Mengfu, one senses that he did not quite adapt to the foreign climate of the north and that his accustomed way of life was very much different. Perhaps, however, he was not the only one who found it difficult to adjust because those who heeded the call to service in the capital Dadu were not just southern Chinese like Zhao Mengfu. Dadu at the time was like a melting pot, attracting people from all over the Mongol Empire of rule and influence such as people from Mongolia, Tibet, and Nepal. Though Southerners were at the bottom of the social heirarchy established by the Mongols, Zhao Mengfu became a colleague with people of different ethnic and cultural backgrounds who all came to serve at the Yuan court.