Interviewee ID: 990253
Parent's name: Ochir
Year of Birth: 1945
Occupations: company boss (darga)
Notes on education:
Born in: Nyalag sum, Töv aimag
Lives in: [None Given] sum (or part of UB), Ulaanbaatar aimag
Mother's profession: housework
Father's profession: animal products preparation agent (Түүхий эдийн бэлтгэлийн агент)
To read a full interview with Shagdasüren please click on the Interview ID below.
Summary of Interview 090420A with Shagdasüren by Tsetsegjargal
I was born in 1945 in Bayan sum or what was Nyalga sum of Töv aimag. I went to the first grade and attended school for 5-6 months and then I went to Ulaanbaatar and entered the sixth school there. I graduated from school in Russia and worked in the police department. Later I managed a private business.
People used to say that in Nyalga sum lived mostly the lamas of the Zuun Choir monastery who became secular and that’s why it had been abolished. I’m the child of one of the lamas who lived there. Though my father hadn’t attended school, he was quite an educated man. My father was an elegant man, therefore my family was quite a neat family. The bag and sum management and the agitators came to gather the people of the ails and they talked a lot about the significance of hygiene in connection with the conduct of the cultural campaign. The commission came from the aimag and asked how many bed sheets we had, where we had the face clothes, and if we didn’t have them, they scolded us severely and wrote down our names. Therefore people tried their best to preserve their reputation. When the inspection people arrived in their vehicle, the people cleaned the enclosure and the surrounding environment and they washed and exchanged our clothes. Thus, two or three days passed in a whirl. During the cultural campaign it was prohibited to distil arkhi and it was done away with.
My father had been trained for two or three months at the hospital first-aid training and he had acquired worked giving injections. He used to inject the ‘red injection’ (to treat syphilis) patients. Well dressed men and women came to our place and stood in a queue to get injected. My mom didn’t like it and she would tell him to give the injection outside and to boil the syringe on the stove other than the home stove. Ordinary people kept a great distance from those people.
The Cultural Revolution [cultural campaigns] was carried out because of the great amount of social infectious diseases and poor household culture. Initially people practiced good hygiene for when they’d be inspected, but they gradually got used to being clean. The cultural campaign had a great impact on the household culture (ahuin soyol) of all the Mongolians. During the cultural campaign my dad went to the city and brought flour-like toothpaste in a round red box and we used it to clean our teeth. When I went to Russia to study, I saw that our Mongolians never lagged behind in terms household culture compared to the people who came from any other European country.
The Cultural Revolution dealt not only with the household culture but it dealt to a large extent with the intellect of the people, and the literacy movement. Also, considerable changes had been brought into the health sector. The cultural campaign wasn’t been abandoned after two or three years but it continued further. In the 1980s when I visited the countryside, the countryside ails were almost same as the city ails. The [Revolutionary] Youth League and the women’s organization played great role in the cultural campaign. Especially the women’s organization: people went on inspection trips giving priority to household wives and the result was achieved easily.
I am a child of a herder. Thanks to good parents I grew up healthy and sound. I worked for some time after graduation from a school in Russia, but then I was expelled from the Mongolian People’s Revolutionary Party for an unstable family life which brought huge changes into my life. When you are expelled from the party, your work is also changed. At that time I realized I had to live leaning on my own knowledge and strength. That was the big change in my life. Without that change in my life I would have kept working in the police department and after retirement I would have sought only to live on my pension. Now I employ over a hundred people giving them work, and I live no worse than anyone else.