Basic information
Interviewee ID: 990097
Name: Mönhjargal
Parent's name: Ichinhorloo
Ovog: Harchin
Sex: m
Year of Birth: 1962
Ethnicity: Halh
Occupations: electrician / herder

Additional Information
Education: tusgai dund
Notes on education:
Belief: Buddhist
Born in: Manlai sum, Ömnögovi aimag
Lives in: Manlai sum (or part of UB), Ömnögovi aimag
Mother's profession: herder
Father's profession: lawyer

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

Summary of Interview 080819A with Mönhjargal by Oyuntungalag

Being one of eleven children in his family, Mönhjargal was given for adoption as an infant. His adoptive mother, a single woman, was a goat herder. In 1978, after finishing the eighth grade, Mönhjargal went to study in a technical college in Dundgobi aimag. After the first course, he enlisted himself in the army and served from 1979 to 1982. After the army, he returned to Manlai sum to work as a door-keeper and a stoker in a boiler room. In 1984 he was sentenced to three years for hooliganism. He served his term in Choir, working in a plumbing brigade. After his release on parole in 1986, Mönhjargal stayed in Choir and married a woman, though he already had a wife waiting for him in Manlai sum. As he did not have permission to stay in Choir, the next year he had to return to Ömnögobi. However, in 1988 he went back to Choir and reunited with his second wife. There he worked as a plumber and electrician. He returned to Manlai in 1996, and has lived with his first wife since. From his wives he has five children. At the time of the interview he was officially unemployed and lived with his family between the country-side and Manlai sum. He is interested in poetry. He says that he has an alcohol related problem and can drink for several weeks on end.

The interviewee discusses a broad variety of topics: childhood memories, his family, secondary school, the dormitory where he stayed, the army, the prison, poetry, alcohol consumption, hooliganism. He recalls that in his childhood hooliganism was widespread in his sum. Outsiders did not feel safe, for the local men threatened them with violence. In the dormitory older children made youngsters do all the cleaning. In the army Mönhjargal also encountered with systematic violence against younger conscripts. He recalls his army years as a good time. In his view, during state socialism everything was strictly controlled and kept in order. School teachers were harsh; they could shout, scold and even beat up schoolchildren. In the army, officers were particularly cruel. Mönhjargal supported democracy from the beginning, for it gave people the opportunity to become property owners. Negative sides of democracy are as follows: it gave too much freedom to people, and the inflation is high.

Summary of Interview 080819B with Mönhjargal by Oyuntungalag

Mӧnhjargal says that he is member of the Democratic Party. He became interested in politics when democracy began. In his view, although socialism was an authoritarian regime and people were not free, nevertheless it had a good impact on work ethics: people did their job truthfully. While working at the railways in Choir, Mӧnhjargal himself was selected as ‘front-rank-worker’ twice. In contrast, today people do not take their job seriously.

His story about Soviet shops in Choir is interesting. Also the shops were supposed to cater for the Soviet specialist and Soviet army personnel, some Mongolians also could benefit. As Mӧnhjargal was on good terms with both the Russian door-keepers and the shop assistants he often went shopping there.

What he regrets the most in his life is his term in prison. The prison is a place where people lose their positive energy and happiness. He is proud of his wife and colleagues.