Interviewee ID: 990004
Parent's name: Tsedensambuu
Year of Birth: 1958
Occupations: private handicrafts
Education: tusgai dund
Notes on education:
Born in: [None Given] sum, Ulaanbaatar aimag
Lives in: Chingeltei sum (or part of UB), Ulaanbaatar aimag
Mother's profession: herder
Father's profession: Khan Bank economist
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Summary of Interview 080303A with Dolgorsüren by Sainbileg
I was born in 1957 in Ulaanbaatar. I spent my childhood with my grandparents in Tsetserleg in Arhangai. I completed tenth grade in Hashaat sum of Arhangai and studied for four years and graduated from the Arhangai Teacher’s school. Then I moved to Darhan and then to Ulaanbaatar.
My mother’s father had been repressed. When my grandfather was over twenty, he was a lama who became a lay person and was made to work. Then he came to Ulaanbaatar and was trained at the veterinary orderly training course and he became a veterinarian. He worked as a veterinarian for many years in Bulgan and Hashaat sums of Arhangai aimag. During the repressions [in the 1930s] the lists of people’s names’ was made at the sum administration and they used to summon the people. One day when my granddad came there as he was summoned, he was taken on board a truck by Shagdariin Ravdan who had called him. He sat there on the truck when he met a Russian doctor who used to work with him and the latter kept him behind. The rest of the people on the truck were repressed and shipped to Ulaanbaatar. There were few of them who returned.
My grandfather’s older brother who had a high rank in Zayain monastery was arrested and he vanished. My grandfather had waited for him till he died. Many disappeared without any regard to their family background, it is said. When my grandfather was summoned, there were many people sitting on the truck, it is said. In the olden times each family had a lama and later they became secular, that’s why, I think, so many had been arrested. The arrested were distributed and sent to the prisons and some were exiled to Siberia. My dad also was repressed. He used to be a political worker of the Officers’ school. At that time at one of the ‘ails’ celebration he had jokingly sung, “Here are Choibalsan’s bald-headed novices”. The next day he was called to stand in front of the ranks and his epaulettes were stripped away and an order was read out loud and my dad was sent to prison. Many officers had been victimized in such a way.
When I was a kid, my grandfather used to light oil lamps on mountain Bulgan. Our house had two narrow rooms at the back of it. In the inner corner of the room there used to be beautiful Buddhas. My grand mom lit oil lamps in the 8th, 15th and 25th of the first month of the lunar New Year. We cleaned the lamp bowl by rubbing it in the fire's ashes [literally: in the fire]. We wore masks when lighting the oil lamps in order not to let our breath blow it out. There used to be two big sitting Buddhas but they never showed them to anyone and never mentioned them. At that time the people hid their Buddhas in the storage chest, and the people living in the apartments kept their Buddhas in secret rooms. Also, they put the Buddhas on the back of the framed family pictures. If caught, they were punished. If it was a party member, he was expelled from the party.