Interviewee ID: 990290
Parent's name: Ochir
Year of Birth: 1954
Notes on education: mal züich
Born in: Hishig-Öndör sum, Bulgan aimag
Lives in: Hishig-Öndör sum (or part of UB), Bulgan aimag
Mother's profession: herder (milkmaid)
Father's profession: herder
To read a full interview with Otgonhand please click on the Interview ID below.
Summary of Interview 090738A with Otgonhand by Khishigsüren
A former zoo-technician at the veterinary hospital of Hishig-Öndör sum, Bulgan aimag.
O. Otgonhand was born in Hishig-Öndör sum, Bulgan aimag. She studied well at secondary school and then she entered the Institute and in 1970 she graduated from the agricultural Institute. Her younger sister also studied well and she wanted to study at the higher educational institution and they had the opportunity but at that time (it seems to have been an oddity in Bulgan aimag) her sister was told, “Your elder sister is studying at the Institute. There should be only one child from the herder’s family to study in the vocational school or the Institute.“ So she was forced after the seventh grade to go to countryside. She has such a strange story to tell.
In the socialist period she became an agricultural specialist after having graduated from school and she played a great role in the collective. She used to work as a general livestock expert, and the veterinarians worked hard to cure and protect the livestock, and to increase the livestock breeding. The livestock husbandry work, working to increase the number of livestock and the veterinary work had supported by the decree of the Central Committee. It was prohibited to increase livestock numbers without issuing a decree. It was a developed system of working out the policy of the veterinary and the livestock growth by the specialists from the Ministry of Agriculture and the research workers of the scientific research institute. In connection with the livestock privatization, in the recent years the system of considering the development and strengthening of the livestock husbandry production locally and issuing a decree to support the work has been done away with. In other words, such things like the veterinary sector policy and coordination have been done away with for some time.
She also talked about the livestock tending methods of the well-known shepherd of Hishig-Öndör, the hero of labor Ochir about whom articles were written in schoolchildren’s textbooks.
Before the livestock privatization, the collective livestock were given to the herders nationwide on a basis of a contracted lease. The herders’ life was pleasant when they worked on the basis of the contracted lease and they started to acquire livestock when all of a sudden they were privatized. To her mind the contracted lease was significant.
When the collectives existed, they used to work for the fulfillment of the economic plan and such was the work aim. The party committee that operated in a certain sum had the aim to fulfill the work plan without fail. She talked in detail about the fact that all the work and services were conducted by Pparty instructions and assignments. Initially from 1999, the veterinary hospitals started to be privatized. She talked about the necessity of the veterinary service in the countryside and about the measures taken in the recent years by the state to help the livestock numbers recover.
She recalled her own misunderstanding of the 1990 changes and reform, the democratic demonstrations. She thought it was the wrong thing to do and watching the young people on the hunger strike she felt compassion for them. She was worried that the hunger strike participants would be punished or killed.
Now she considers there should be democracy and it is necessary if we can be fair-minded. She is discontent that people cannot make use of democracy and that it can’t be developed. She thinks people acquired private property and freedom as a result of democracy.
Summary of Interview 090738B with Otgonhand by Khishigsüren
A former zoo-technician of the veterinary hospital of Hishig-Öndör sum of Bulgan aimag.
In the second part of her interview she talked extensively about the cultural campaigns that made the Mongolian people literate and the significance of the cultural campaigns. There were no unemployed people in the socialist period but today, if not at the decision-making level, then at the medium and bottom levels women can lead their own lives and work. In the countryside the men cannot find any other work than tending livestock, even if they wish to do something.
She talked about the funeral rituals of the dead and she thinks the cremation practiced in recent years might be the right thing.
There are many changes in the environment and weather, the rivers dry up and the growth of the plants and flowers has deteriorated. She expressed her worry that due to human activities the natural world has faded.
She talked a little about the friendly cooperation with the fraternal Soviet Union in the socialist period, and in 1979 when the relations between Vietnam and China deteriorated, a military unit from a Siberian district was stationed in Orhon. It was a very large division. The military unit traveled as a whole column, and they built a dam greatly damaging the environment. They also caused a lot of fires. Mongolians like Russian people. The Russians looked sympathetic. She also told an interesting story about the President of Chechnya Maskhadov who was killed. He used to serve in the Russian military in Red Orhon, as a colonel.