Basic information
Interviewee ID: 990013
Name: Dügersüren
Parent's name: Luvsanrenchin
Ovog: Barga
Sex: m
Year of Birth: 1951
Ethnicity: Halh
Occupations: Santehnikch jijuur - Academy of Sciences

Additional Information
Education: tusgai dund
Notes on education:
Belief: Buddhist
Born in: Ih-Uul sum, Zavhan aimag
Lives in: Sühbaatar sum (or part of UB), Ulaanbaatar aimag
Mother's profession: herder
Father's profession: herder

To read a full interview with Dügersüren please click on the Interview ID below.

Summary of Interview 080504A with Dügersüren by Ganbold

Dügersüren was born on 1 July 1951 in a place called Muhar of the Huyagt brigade in what is today Ih-Uul sum in Zavhan aimag. His parents were herders. Dügersüren finished six years of secondary education in Tosontsengel before returning to his parent's ger to help them with livestock breeding. Then he served in the army and worked as an auto mechanic in a timber factory in Tosontsengel. During that time he also completed his full secondary education and then studied at a technical college. He has four children. At the time of the interview Dügersüren was working at an institute as a doorkeeper.

In his interview, Dügersüren tries to divide his narrative into two main parts: the first part is about his preschool memories and the second one is about his school-related as well as adulthood memories. His preschool memories include the cultural campaigns (literally: 'cultural attack' - soyolin dovtolgoo) when households were inspected for cleanliness and tidiness. He recalls a woman called Soyollham, a local party activist, who volunteered to wash other people's clothes. During the 'cultural campaigns' it was compulsory that children over eight years of age be sent to school. Another early memory of his preschool childhood is the collectivisation of private livestock. His parents had to give away most of their livestock to the collective farm. Dügersüren recounts how people lived, what did, what believed in, and what ate. For example, in the summer people rarely killed animals, but consumed instead milk products or sometimes dried meat (borts). The main source of fresh meat was animals killed by a lightening or wolves. Children were barefoot throughout summer until October. People used to carry their own cutlery- a bowl, a chop stick and a knife- with them. The notion of 'ten sins and ten goodnesses' was important for people. For instance, to sit in a respectable place while older people were around, to listen to the conversation of grown-ups, or not to help the neighbours were all considered as sinful acts. In the second part of his narrative, Dügersüren tells about how he as a pupil participated in the daily maintenance of the school building by gathering fire wood, fetching water, etc. He studied Russian for two years in the fifth and sixth grades. In retrospect, although he thinks that 'leaping over the capitalist phase of development straight into socialism' was a mistake, he still has warm feelings towards the brotherly Soviet Union that defended Mongolia from the Japanese invaders in 1939. The two most important people to influence his life were Mr Tsend, the director of the factory where Dügersüren worked, and Mr Chuluunbaatar, a co-worker. Both of them taught Dügersüren various trade skills. He remembers Mr Tsend particularly for being a wise man and a good director.

Dügersüren is a religious person, and believes in the 'power of doing goodness to other people'. He practises traditional massage treatment and can tell fortune using 'nine coins'. He attributes his ability to heal people as well as his religiosity to his 'genes'. His parents were religious too: his father knew several mantras, and his mother circumambulated their ger holding the Altangerel sutra in her hand.

Summary of Interview 080504B with Dügersüren by Ganbold

In this interview Dügersüren talks about the privatisation. According to him, in 1991 two different privatisation plans were being discussed. The first plan was to rent the factories/collective farms to their staff and later to privatize; the second plan was to evaluate all state enterprises and produce shares so that people could become shareholders. Parliament chose the second plan and carried out the privatisation in two steps, known as the 'small privatisation' and the 'big privatisation'. The idea of the privatisation was to make every citizen a holder of shares worth 10,000 tögrögs. The privatisation, however, did not go according to plan for several reasons. Firstly, working people did not understand shares, for they were not sufficiently informed. Secondly, the parliamentarians did not come up with good laws about companies and shareholders, because they themselves were not knowledgeable in this matter. Thirdly, the Revolutionary Party, according to DugerDügersüren, produced bureaucrats who were taught to use rather than respect people. Therefore, educated people in charge of various organisations took advantage of the ignorance of working class people and used the privatisation for their own ends. Dügersüren explains these points by using the example of Sürenjav, the former director of the company where Dügersüren had shares. It was not only the former bureaucrats and canny people who perverted the privatisation, but the stock exchange itself was working against the interest of ordinary people. Dügersüren knows about all this, because he attended a forty-five day course in economics at the beginning of the privatisation.

Dügersüren also says that he participated in the democratic revolution. Thanks to the revolution, he argues, people became free. According to him, freedom has to be exercised in the correct way. Freedom comes with responsibility. And it is responsibility that people in Mongolia have forgotten.

Summary of Interview 080605A with Dügersüren by Ganbold

The main topic of the interview is the ‘cultural campaigns’. According to the interviewee, the ‘cultural campaigns’ commenced in 1954, 1955 and finished in 1960. Their main aim was to teach people about hygiene and how to live in a clean environment. Inspections were carried out once a week by a special commission consisting of the head of the sum, teachers and doctors. The cultural campaigns brought many benefits, such as: people started washing their teeth regularly, started using sheet sets and blankets, and keep cutlery for guests. During the campaign venereal diseases were eradicated, and the population in general became healthier. All schoolchildren had to have a bath once a week, clean their nails and wear a clean uniform at school. To enforce this, each class had ‘pupils’ committee’ to check on the cleanliness of the pupils. People who did not comply were publicly shamed. The cultural campaigns resulted in the development of a new industry: a china factory and a soap factory were built in Ulaanbaatar. As a result, people became more cultured and polite.

The cultural campaigns had a wider implication. The appearance of electric lamps and cinemas in the country-side can be attributed to the ‘campaign’. Cinemas played an important role in getting the message of the ‘cultural campaign’ across the country.