Tungalag


Basic information
Interviewee ID: 990091
Name: Tungalag
Parent's name: Jadamba
Ovog: Borjigon
Sex: f
Year of Birth: 1956
Ethnicity: Halh
Occupations: retired

Additional Information
Education: higher
Notes on education:
Belief: none
Born in: Tsetserleg sum, Arhangai aimag
Lives in: [None Given] sum (or part of UB), Ulaanbaatar aimag
Mother's profession: teacher
Father's profession: engineer

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

Summary of Interview 090113A with Tungalag by Ariun-Undrah


Tungalag was born in 1956 in Arhangai aimag. Her childhood was spent in kindergarten and school, the same as other children’s. She started dancing when she was 7 years old. As she hoped to, she graduated from dancing class at the Music and Dancing College in 1972. She dance and art related work since that time and has worked as a dance instructor for many schools. She has many students. Her husband is a musician and they have 5 children. Her family has a very busy life, since they are all art people. In the socialist period, they went to the countryside for 45-60 days for the spring and fall brigade. This was a way to supply art and cultural services to all the people of the country. The art brigade was a state activity, which had plans and graphics every year. Many people such as dancers, singers, and musicians were combined together to form a team and provided shows and performances in the aimags and sums. Sometimes, she would leave her infant baby at kindergarten for 45 days. When she recalled how the State supported arts very well during socialism, she said that “All institutions organized cultural events, all houses of culture were working, all libraries were active, all children went to the circles [education groups], all people tried to sing or play musical instruments, and all households had at least a guitar.” There were many difficulties to going with the art brigade. “During that time, there were the stoves in tge sum clubs, and we ourselves did prepared the material to be burned and lighted them. We used to play in warm and smoky clubs. If there was no hotel, we spent the nights with families. Loading everything in the truck, we would sit on top of the loads” she said. The art brigade had four programs in one day when they arrived; a performance for children, an adult concert, an evening play, and a public dancing.


Tungalag’s life was connected inevitably with dance because she was dancer. In 1972 when she graduated as a dance instructor, Mongolian dances were taught, but other dances such as sport dance or Latin American dance with different elements were forbidden as capitalist dances. Tungalag participated in plays in some socialist foreign countries for example, Russia, Germany, Bulgaria, Poland, Cambodia, and Czechoslovakia. As she was traveling so much, she made it her hobby to collect souvenirs related to dance and she has a nice collection now. .


Summary of Interview 090113B with Tungalag by Ariun-Undrah


Davaadorj, Tungalag’s husband, is a musician. He was a leader of a famous musical ensemble “Silver Waterfall (Möngön Hürhree)”, established in the 1970s. This ensemble paved the way for more successful musical bands such as “Railroad (Ganzam)”, and “Ulaanbaatar”. He also was a songwriter and composed many songs including 15-16 songs for kindergarten children. Davaadorj worked as musician and music teacher for ages and then retired. Tungalag and Davaadorj got married and had 5 children. There are a dancer and a musician among their children, who follow their parent’s footsteps.


Tungalag spent her childhood with her parents and playing with her many brothers and sisters. She was the first of seven children and was a good girl who used to help her parents to raise their children. She spent her entire life in Ulaanbaatar city as result of migrating with her family even though she was born in Arhangai aimag. When she was a child, Ulaanbaatar was a smokeless beautiful city that had a sprawling suburb in which deer were seen sometimes. Tungalag was awarded vacations in summer camps such as Selbe and Yanzaga because she was a leader of a commission for her school unit while she was in school. From that time on, she started to dance and learned to be on the stage in front of many people. Tungalag used to study in contortion as well when she was a child.


Generally, she devoted her life to spreading dance education among children and youth besides working as dance instructor and conducting dance circles. However, a medical condition that kept her from doing her work - varicose veins on her left leg – developed. Thus, she attended a rapid course for economic engineering at the National University of Mongolia in 1997 and graduated as engineer and economist. Then she did laboratory jobs, worked as an operator for a building construction complex and eventually retired. She has been supervising a dance circle and working as dance instructor still even though she faced such suffering and obstacles.