Basic information
Interviewee ID: 990361
Name: Batbyambaa
Parent's name: Nyamaa
Ovog: Arguun
Sex: m
Year of Birth: 1972
Ethnicity: Halh
Occupations: herder

Additional Information
Education: incomplete secondary
Notes on education: graduated 8th grade, night school
Belief: Buddhist
Born in: Saihan sum, Bulgan aimag
Lives in: Saihan sum (or part of UB), Bulgan aimag
Mother's profession: herder
Father's profession: herder

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

Summary of Interview 090763A with Batbyambaa by Otgonbayar

Batbyambaa’s father was a drover and in summer time he drove the livestock. His mother milked cows and they moved to the sum in winter time. In 1980 he went to school but after the fourth grade he quit to help his parents. At the age of nine he learned to ride horses. At the age of fifteen he started to drive livestock. He took the livestock on 15 May and drove them, grazing until October and delivered them to Darhan. The herd drovers started off having a tent, a blanket and a mat, two changes of rather bad clothes and some food. 15 tögrögs were paid to a person daily to drive sheep and 12 tögrögs for driving cows. They started off with a flock of sheep and a herd of cows. They received the salary in a lump sum and it was around 50,000 – 60,000. They traveled about ten kilometers each day. They delivered the fattened livestock and the extra beef cost 44 möngös and the herd drovers took half of it and the cooperative took the other half. There were many cases of being short of animals and losing the livestock on the way. They moved over 40 times in a year in search of fresh grass.

At the time of rationing flour and 'red tobacco' reached the price of one sheep. When Batbyamba came home after demobilization, his father had about 30 large cattle and about 70 sheep from the collective. Batbyambaa went to the army in autumn of 1989 and came back in 1992. The military food was poor. The political deputies and the officers visited them to give lectures. The soldiers talked about democracy in the auditoriums. Thanks to democracy we acquired private property and private cattle.

When Batbyambaa came home after demobilization, his parents prepared a ger for him and they separated some livestock from the flock. Having considered the day and the date and having offered a hadag, they married him off. The day they offered a hadag they discussed the date of a wedding and on August 17th they set up the ger and prepared the refreshments and brought the bride to celebrate the wedding. The groom's father makes a fire. When bringing the bride, the groom sits on the higher-status side of the ger. When letting the bride into the ger, felt is spread out at the door and the bridesmaids go out to welcome her in. Milk is poured and given to the bride in a silver bowl with a hadag. The festivity lasts about five days and 500 liters of airag a day is drunk.

They bought a motorcycle, to spare their horses and they have about 600 sheep. In winter they burn firewood. The environment and the weather have dried up. Perhaps the mining activity of the people in the Saihan mountain and in Ereenii Am influences it. The dargas of the citizens’ hural have their own business in the sum and it can be well observed how they behave thoughtlessly and waste the state's money.

Summary of Interview 090763B with Batbyambaa by Otgonbayar

Since the beginning of the market economy cattle rustling has increased and it is mostly well-off people with many acquaintances steal horses and cows. The rich robbers drive jeeps and separate the cattle from the herd, then shooting them and taking them away. In the socialist period cattle theft was very rare. The policemen look after and help the thieves and it increases the theft. The erratic policy of the government also has its impact, he emphasized.

The corruption of the dargas has worsened and the sum school teachers buy their licences and they don’t really teach anything to children, just playing with them, which is a shame. Medical care is scanty for the people and there are very few skilled physicians and medical workers which is very inconvenient.

The school dormitory and the schooling environment have been improved but the teachers don’t bother to teach the classes and they have the attitude of ‘those who have a desire will be taught and those who don’t – it’s their own business’. In this way they do hack work. Lately alcoholism has spread a lot but it’s okay in the countryside.

At the elections the people rush here and there and they seem to divide the ‘ails’ among the parties and there are few ‘ails’ to visit.

The herders gather to have a festival during naadam and a horse race on the 8th day of the Lunar New Year, otherwise they don’t get together much or have feasts. In some places they have boisterous feasts on giving a boy his first haircut and wedding celebrations; otherwise there are few naadams.

The technology of dairy products processing, yogurt making, fermenting airag and other things hasn't changed much but the people who process them in a precise traditional way have diminished in number. Machinery and technology are used now to move to a new place, in haymaking and even grazing sheep.