Basic information
Interviewee ID: 990242
Name: Sonomdejid
Parent's name: Törmönh
Ovog: Beil
Sex: f
Year of Birth: 1949
Ethnicity: Halh
Occupations: retired

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

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

Summary of Interview 090702A with Sonomdejid by Sainbileg

I was born in Hotont sum of Arhangai aimag. Having trained as an accountant in 1970, I worked as an accountant in the Arhangai and Hotont sum’s trade provision unit. In 1980 I came to Ulaanbaatar to work as an accountant in the Central Council of the hunters’ association and retired in 2004.

Until I went to school I tended the lambs and the young goats and I helped my sister who milked cows in the farm. At first I went to the Öndörsant sum elementary school at the age of six. In 1965 I completed the Hotont seven-year school and entered the financial vocational school in Ulaanbaatar. After completing the seventh grade, some of the children went to study further in the secondary school and the rest got appointments to study in the teacher’s, kindergarten, or financial vocational schools. At that time when giving out school appointments, they considered the academic achievements and the life background of the child. The orphans were sent to school before everyone else.

In the beginning, I think, there were lots of work and few people with the qualifications and knowledge. Those who graduated from the schools had been appointed to work in the sums and their nutags. The people of the socialist period followed well their working hours. At 8 in the morning there were meetings where they discussed about the work issues and in the evenings many various people were invited to lecture. In autumn the people working in administration went to the countryside for 4-5 days to help in the haymaking. The official organizations were given standard assignments to provide so many tons of grass. Alongside with the work we used to do a lot of this kind of national work. My husband was a military man and we worked without having any leisure time. Sometimes we met at home two or three days a week. In fact, we went out in the morning and came in the evening and had a rest having had some supper.

When I worked at the central council of the hunters’ association in 1983-1984, many foreign tourists used to come to hunt. They established a contract through our association and went to the western aimags for hunting. Some killed one argali [wild sheep] and returned home happy with its head. The majority went back empty handed. The Russian organizations, the Russian military unit people often used to get approval to go fishing.

My parents had a woman and a man’s pair of Mongolian gutal [boots]. We cherished them for they had a 200 year history and I sold them two, three years ago. I used to wear them sometimes during tsagaan sar. The gutal’s design was very fancy and one rich person persuaded me to sell them, and he purchased them. Sometimes he is seen to be wearing them.

Summary of Interview 090702B with Sonomdejid by Sainbileg

When democracy arose, we were taken aback and we thought ‘why they were announcing a hunger strike’? The result of democracy was a very uncontrolled and chaotic condition. I don’t remember how privatization was announced. Anyway I got the coupons and gave them to the telecommunications company. I used to purchase the coupons and give to the telecommunication company and now there are coupons worth 12 million tögrögs. I didn’t get much of a profit from those coupons. In the later days my husband had been working as a driver in the 27th auto base and he obtained a ‘KAMAZ” truck [a large Soviet truck] through privatization. My husband and our parents had obtained many livestock as well. During the privatization I and my husband inquired about our share but the answer was that we had nothing to do with it. Big Mongolian factories were bankrupted because of privatization. Some of them like ‘Altan Taria’ and ‘APU’ are now under someone’s control. In fact, there are few women who got a large share. All in all, the privatization was carried out in a wrong way, I think. To my mind, those people who brought democracy, in fact, have benefited the most.

In the socialist time, there used to be special Russian stores. We purchased Russian goods from those stores with a special identification card. In the 1980s the consumer goods and the food were available. In the beginning of 1990s we acquired [ration] coupons and we purchased meat and flour with these coupons. I used to buy things from Russian stores, so I wasn’t so much affected. Our workers used to be served there through the Russians who got approval for fishing.

When we were small, the dead were wrapped in a white cloth and taken to the countryside by a horse cart. In the recent time the people started to put them in a coffin and digging a hole, and they put up a statue. Today it is changed to cremation.