Interviewee ID: 990078
Parent's name: Dash Norovmyadag
Year of Birth: 1950
Occupations: treatment methodologist (?)
Notes on education:
Belief: Buddhist, shamanism
Born in: Bulgan sum, Hovd aimag
Lives in: Nalaih sum (or part of UB), Ulaanbaatar aimag
Mother's profession: Fortune teller, bone-sett (Үзмэрч,бариач)
Father's profession: Tom Lama
To read a full interview with Tseren please click on the Interview ID below.
Summary of Interview 081212A with Tseren by Ariun-Undrah
D. Tseren was born in 1958 in Bulgan sum, Hovd aimag. She spent her childhood with her parents. She started school at the age of eight. In 1959, her family moved to Nalaih to join her older brother, Amarzaya, who had been assigned to work in the mines. Tseren recalls, ‘When we came to Nalaih and went into the house, to our amazement, the light was turned on. We turned it on and off, and that was the first time we saw an electric lamp’. Tseren continued her secondary school education in Nalaih. She was good at sport: apart from her interest in cycling, she ran and jumped. In summer, schoolchildren spent their holiday in pioneer camps. Among them the Selbe and the Sӧgnӧgӧr camps were renowned for having schoolchildren from Germany, Bulgaria, and the Soviet Union.
In 1975, after graduating from university, Tseren returned to Nalaih to head a Women’s Committee in the local hospital. At that time, besides official job, women were engaged in a variety of public activities. Also, the majority of women did not buy clothes, but knitted scarfs and hats, sewed clothes both for themselves and their families. Tseren worked in many organisations, including a trade union and the above mentioned Women’s Committee. In the socialist period, single mothers, jobless people, homeless children, and drunkards were rare. Trade unions worked very well, and there existed the so-called ‘socialist labour brigades’. These brigades, consisting of ten workers each, competed with one another.
Another hobby that Tseren has had since her childhood is photography. She has stored many of her memories in photos, such as her diplomas, letters of acknowledgement, and invitations. She has about twenty photo albums.
In 1950, the cultural campaign swept across the country. Tseren actively participated in the campaign in the capacity of a medical worker and as the head of the Women’s Organisation, travelling to all the eighteen aimags. She thinks that thanks to the cultural campaign the Mongolians became cleaner, healthier, and more polite. She also says that communist subbotniks, two and three-year plans disappeared with the beginning of democracy.
Summary of Interview 081212B with Tseren by Ariun-Undrah
The place where Tseren spent her childhood has a picturesque nature, big mountains, and a river called Bulgan. The local people sowed wheat, milled flower, and planted a variety of vegetables and berries, such as potatoes, chazargana, and watermelon. Her family had about five hundred livestock, including cows and racing horses. As herding and agricultural work required intensive labour, Tseren’s parents had ten families working for them. In return for their labour, her parents looked after them. Tseren recalls that her parents were hardworking and kind-hearted people who helped the poor.
Many people agree that the education system benefited from the cultural campaign. As education was an important matter, all children had to go to school. Thanks to the literacy improving campaigns, all people became literate. In the socialist period, life was peaceful, crimes rare, and people hardworking as well as polite. Also, people respected and protected nature. Russians, who lived in Mongolia, helped in the cultural campaign. In Tseren’s words, the cultural campaign had a positive impact on her. She recalls, ‘Russian women taught us how to use beddings, do ironing, do washing up, which soaps and washing powders to use’. She says, ‘During the cultural campaign the state used to come up with splendid ideas, the campaign affected all of us’.