Interviewee ID: 990079
Parent's name: Zagasbaldan
Year of Birth: 1960
Occupations: teacher, 'Maksim'
Notes on education:
Born in: Sühbaatar sum, Ulaanbaatar aimag
Lives in: Sühbaatar sum (or part of UB), Ulaanbaatar aimag
Mother's profession: engineer
Father's profession: stastistical economist
To read a full interview with Batjargal please click on the Interview ID below.
Summary of Interview 090101A with Batjargal by Khishigsüren
Z. Batjargal was born on January 8th, 1960, in Ulaanbaatar. Her father was a department darga at the Planning Commission in 1960 and in 1962 he was appointed the permanent representative of the Mongolian People’s Republic at the Council of Mutual Economic Assistance, and they went to live in Moscow. In her interview she talked extensively about the history of her father’s birth, his upbringing and education. Her grandmother took her son on a camel to the city to get him educated. Her dad then rode on top of a GAZ-53 truck to reach Irkutsk and from there he traveled for 13 days on a goods train to Leningrad. She told about his becoming a student of Leningrad University, about his candidate of science and doctor’s degree work he did.
You can read from the history of her childhood about the living conditions and the family education of the Mongolian intelligentsia and the high-level officials of that time.
In 1960-1962 she lived in Mongolia and in 1962-1970 she spent her childhood in Moscow. In Mongolia, only 45 days after her birth she was given to a nursery. Her mom used to come to the nursery to breast-feed her. There is a photo of many mothers sitting in a line breast-feeding their babies. Later she looked at the photo with a great interest. It was very cold in the nursery, and the conditions were poor therefore she has had kidney problems since then. She said she considered it the most barbaric thing to separate a baby from its mother after 45 days. Being raised through the nursery and the kindergarten she assumes she has been educated by the state and not by her parents. She said she criticized the Mongolian nursery and kindergarten activities of the 1960s.
From 1962 she has lived in Moscow and was educated in a nice kindergarten there. She talked about the kindergarten, about her happy childhood years spent in Moscow, about her mother’s work, about her manners and behavior, what standard of living and what provisions they had, what an inquisitive child she was, and the Russian Bolshoi Theatre pianist who had given her piano lessons. She once visited the Kremlin Orthodox church with her music teacher and one of the church attendants looking at her said, ‘She is the antichrist.’ She also said her Russian teacher once told she had very wise sight, the sight of an adult. They spent their summer vacation together with her parents in the Crimea, a place where the Central Committee officials of the Soviet Union spent their vacation. Her older brother Batbayar used to play and upset the surroundings of the big dargas of the Soviet Union. She was never aware that she was a Mongolian. The kindergarten she attended was a 24-hour kindergarten and she later found out that it had been built by the international resources and it was a special kindergarten of the Council of Mutual Economic Assistance. She #recalled her return to Mongolia from Moscow. She saw for the first time the Mongolian ger. She told about her imagination of the Mongolian environment, the difference between the 23d special school of that time and the newly built Russian 3d school, about her classmates and teachers, what was the first Mongolian word she had learnt, what books she read and what were her conclusions. She talked in detail about the problems she had when she first started to communicate with Mongolian children, the culture difference they had. She talked very openly and in great detail about her school years.
Having finished secondary school, she entered the philosophy faculty of the Leningrad University. She delivered her son while a student. She had famous scientists who used to teach her. She said her happiest time was her time as a student. Her happy childhood, the opportunity to acquire high education and live in the cultured and educated environment was due to the blessing of having rare and wonderful parents. She is proud of her parents.
She also told about the high education level of the Soviet Union of 1980s, the difference between the Moscow and the Leningrad Universities. She was qualified in idealist philosophy. The anti-Marxist western philosophy specialists had been teaching far from the center at the Leningrad University. She considers it an opportunity to have been taught by these teachers.
Summary of Interview 090101B with Batjargal by Khishigsüren
The second interview of Z.Batjargal tells us about her father’s history. Her father was a deputy chief of the Council of Mutual Economic Assistance. He was the chief of the Central State Statistical Department. She talked about the living standard of the people in authority and high-level positions during socialism and how their authority had been implemented. She told about the relatives of her father and what kind of people they were, how her father used to assist them, and the meaning of her father’s name. It’s a name of a rare animal in the Gobi, and that’s why he was given that name Zagasbaldan. She told the story that her grandmother had told her, that in the Gobi children were given not their father’s name but their mother’s name.
Her father used to process the economic data that was included in the reports of Tsedenbal darga. The population of Mongolia was very small therefore there was a constant lack of manpower. It was thought that the lack of personnel would never be resolved therefore the nation could never become an industrial nation but that it was an agricultural one. He always disagreed with the members of the Central Committee of that time on the fulfillment of the five-year plan. He was a scientist more highly qualified than the members of the Politburo therefore he could influence and manage the others with his knowledge and skill.
In 1990 when democracy appeared, her father worked as a deputy chief of the Council of Mutual Economic Assistance. He used to criticize the society, saying that there was really nothing positive in it. At the time of the first democratic demonstrations and the flourishing of various movements in Mongolia her father was in Moscow but she heard some people saying, “There’s Zagasbaldan behind these democratic youth”. Her father supported democracy. He said, “The right youth have come out”.
To Z. Batjargal’s mind her father was a man of science rather than a politician. He played chess well. He adhered to a very strict daily regime and he had a right habit of everyday life. (People used to say L. Tüdev and he were very similar persons about this). But he died of liver cancer in 1991. He died while he still worked as a deputy chief of the Council of Mutual Economic Assistance from 1988-1991. Her father didn’t want to be unemployed, without any activity, without social activity. He was always active, he was in a socially necessary position therefore his daughter always sensed he couldn’t cope without work activity. She said she was content about her father who had passed away at his work place, while he was still needed for the society and not after being retired. She has recalled all the good things about her father. Zagasbaldan guai was doing a very important and complicated work. He was a statesman who had been contributing to Mongolian history.
Summary of Interview 090101C with Batjargal by Khishigsüren
Her father wasn’t a party figure but he was an statesman of economics. He was a highly responsible person in an important position and he had been in this position for 18 years. The dargas quickly changed and their native homeland, their affiliated aimags influenced this. It was the tendency of being lifted up to a high position. The official position determined the people’s life at that time. The dargas had authority. An official position was very important in the socialist regime. Though it is said there’s democracy in Mongolia and the human rights are esteemed, she has talked in detail about the abnormal process of democracy in Mongolia and authority, official positions and democracy. She also talked about the women’s position in the society.
Batjargal has been teaching at the Medical Institute and the Mongolian National University. She doesn’t regret being a Mongolian. She is proud of the people who lift up the name of Mongolia at the international level.