Interviewee ID: 990030
Parent's name: Galsan
Year of Birth: 1945
Notes on education:
Born in: Dadal sum, Hentii aimag
Lives in: Dadal sum (or part of UB), Hentii aimag
Mother's profession: [blank]
Father's profession: [blank]
To read a full interview with Dorjsüren please click on the Interview ID below.
Summary of Interview 080708A with Dorjsüren by Oyuntungalag
Dorjsüren has a complete secondary education. He studied seven classes in Dadal sum and the remaining three classes in Öndörhaan. After finishing school in 1964, he entered the Pedagogical Institute in Ulaanbaatar to study mathematics. His first job assignment was in Selenge aimag where he taught mathematics in a secondary school. After that he taught in Öndörhaan for four years. From 1974 to 1989 Dorjsüren worked in a secondary school in his native Dadal sum in various positions, beginning as a teacher and ending up as the director. For a short period of time, from 1990 to 1992, he was the headmaster in the 48th secondary school in Ulaanbaatar, while his wife was studying at the Medical University. When his wife finished university, they returned to Dadal. Dorjsüren retired in 2005 at the aged of sixty. At the time of the interview he was running a small farm and a guesthouse for foreign tourists. He is married and has five children.
Dorjsüren tells about his parents, why Buryats came from Russia to Mongolia, and what happened during the repression in his native sum. His parents were among the first people to join the collective farm in Dadal. During the repression 600 people were arrested in Dadal alone. At the end of the 1950s, with the normalisation of the political situation, the relationship between the Buryats on both sides of the Soviet-Mongolian border improved.
In his view, Buryats in today’s Mongolia are the luckiest Buryats. In comparison with Buryats who live in Russia and China, Buryats of Mongolia enjoy freedom, both political and economic.
Summary of Interview 080708B with Dorjsüren by Oyuntungalag
In this interview Dorjsüren tells about his childhood: how he cut hay, the school where he studied, when he first saw a motorcycle and a lorry, what his parents did, and what Dadal sum was like then. When he was in the fourth grade the whole class participated in the construction of a new school building. When the construction work was completed in 1964, the then leader of Mongolia, Tsedenbal, visited the new school building. Dorjsüren says that in his childhood he read not only Mongolian writers but foreigners as well, including Jack London and Jules Verne. He also tells that in the socialist period Dadal sum was a prosperous and good place to live in. In the 1950s Dadal had electricity and radio, whereas many sums in the vicinity had none. The famous sanatorium Gurvan Nuur was opened in Dadal in 1949.
Although Dorjsüren has a positive memory of state socialism (for instance, education and health care were free, and life in general was better), two things that he most resents about that time are bureaucracy and the fact that the state restricted people’s freedom of movement. He himself was affected many times. For example, in 1987 when his wife entered the Medical University in Ulaanbaatar, he was not allowed to join her in Ulaanbaatar. It took him two years to obtain a special permission to settle in Ulaanbaatar. It is no wonder then that he actively supported the democratic movement from the beginning. In his view, democracy brought freedom to people. As a result, today people can live wherever they like and do whatever job they choose to. Democracy is however without its back draws. It is difficult to live on salary alone. To supplement his income and help his children with their tuition fees, Dorjsüren runs a small vegetable farm and keeps a guesthouse for foreign tourists.
In 1974, at the age of thirty-one he married his wife in accordance with Buryat traditions. He tells about the wedding.