Interviewee ID: 990243
Parent's name: Humbaa
Year of Birth: 1938
Notes on education:
Born in: Aldarhaan sum, Zavhan aimag
Lives in: Bayangol sum (or part of UB), Ulaanbaatar aimag
Mother's profession: herder
Father's profession: [blank]
To read a full interview with Dashaa please click on the Interview ID below.
Summary of Interview 090703A with Dashaa by Sainbileg
I was born in 1938 in the place called Nogoonhoshuu in the Zavhan aimag centre. I never attended any school for I was the only child in the family, therefore they didn’t send me to school. Until 1967 I tended the livestock and then I worked at the aimag food factory, and in 1974 I came to Ulaanbaatar to work for 17 years at the railway station affiliated to the Central Post. Then I went out to the countryside and in 1995 we moved close to the city to accompany our two children.
My father’s older brother was said to be an old man with a moustache. The people of his nutag used to say that he gave his livestock to the cooperative and became poor and he remained in his black ger. By 1959 the livestock amounting to more than 50 heads [per household] were cllectivised and all the people joined the negdel under pressure. My parents said they were given a few young animals. One of my two children went to serve in the army and he got married. He has never joined a collective.
One older brother of my father, who was respectfully called Böndög, was said to have been arrested; was it in 1937 or 1938? He was shipped on a truck and was confined in a big black ger. My father said they were made to dig a pit in a graveyard and at night time they were shot dead. It was said, at night time there could be heard guns shooting. It was said the people who had ranks higher than Gelen [a particular Buddhist title] were arrested. At that time people were very fearful when the lamas would be arrested. The astrologer Damdinsüren was said to have fallen into a hollow place right at the hill where he was shot. The people of his nutag protected him and, when the autumn came, they moved, putting him in a basket and in the summer he hid in the mountains, it is said. He is said to have come out of hiding in 1960.
At that time the chests of the ‘ails’ were ransacked and the Buddhas and sutras were confiscated therefore the ’ails’ used to conceal them in the caves. The aimag representative was selected and he was assigned to go to the brigades and seize the Buddhas and sutras from the ‘ails’. He would visit the ‘ails’, rummage around and say, “Destroy it while I look! I will check later!” So, the people took them to the mountains and exalted them in the mountains praying, “Please, my Buddha, forgive and save!” I think the peopel of Ulaanbaatar took them to Gandan. The useless Buddhas and gold and silver inside the grannies’ sewing box were cast at the foot of the bed.
Summary of Interview 090703B with Dashaa by Sainbileg
I became literate in a group study. In 1942 there used to be a thin book called ‘Brief Grammar.’ From that book we memorized the 35 letters and we connected the letters and wrote them. Then we were made to write dictation. It was called ‘to teach a new script’. One person had a group of people sitting in a circle on the grass. The bag dargas appointed the literate people, “OK, you will teach the new script.” The progandists would come and say that an illiterate person was same as being blind. If I wasn’t literate, I wouldn’t have worked at the Central Post Office.
The ‘Modnii-2’ where I worked produced paint, ger woods, saddles, boxes and brooms. It was a big factory with very many divisions. Today only the name of it remains. When I worked at the Modnii-2, I was sent to Moscow, Leningrad and Ulyanovsk for doing good work. What a wonderful thing it was. I had tears of joy. Then I got employed at the Central Post Office through an acquaintance. I worked there till I retired. I often used to be late then. There were no buses. Our dargas understood me well, “It’s tough to go from such a far away distance”. I got a salary of 350—400 tögrögs at that time. My wife also did a work so it was sufficient for us. When I worked at the Central Post, I used to send our workers to a recreation place. Today I also send my old people to the Suuj resort.
I don’t know much about privatization. I think only the herders who collectivized their livestock got their share. Though my parents collectivized about one thousand head of livestock, we didn’t get any share of it, since we hadn’t worked in the collective. At that time life was OK, so I never thought of getting anything additional. I don’t know what my son has done with the pink and blue coupons. Maybe he has sold them. I didn’t really understand the essence of privatization. The privatization coupons had been wasted by the upper-level bosses. Those people who had been in charge of the privatization took advantage of the situation.