Interviewee ID: 990367
Parent's name: Nyamaa
Year of Birth: 1964
Notes on education: büren dund
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 Oyunsüren please click on the Interview ID below.
Summary of Interview 090769A with Oyunsüren by Otgonbayar
Oyunsüren egch was born in 1964, the oldest daughter in her family. At the age of eight she went to the central school of the sum. She walked from her ger to the school. April 25th was the deadline for combing the goats therefore they used to comb goats a lot. At the age of six she learned to ride horses and every child assisted in the household work. Her parents got about 200 tögrögs as a salary for cashmere. She used to go to school in büürken gutal and a drill-cloth deel.
The majority of herders’ children lived in the school dormitory. They slept in pairs and there still wasn't enough space in the dormitory. They wrote with a dip pen and the ‘ant’ pens were rare. The parents had little opportunity to give attention to their children, so the children strove by themselves.
During the cultural campaign the classes were lined up and those who had passed were let go and those who hadn’t passed were brought into their classrooms. Their one foot was washed and the nails cut, said Altanhuu guai (sic). The schoolchildren used to dig building foundations, comb goats of the ‘ails’ and cut wood. In the year she entered the ninth grade Oyunsüren egch worked with the haymaking brigade for 14 days and got 120 tögrögs. In the socialist period the people were very busy and everyone had to go to the haymaking.
Oyunsüren guai completed secondary school in 1982 and, having received an assignment, became a milkmaid. In the summer time she rose #at four in the morning and she milked 16-17 cows a day and grazed the calves. In the summer time many ‘ails’ camped together. The generator started from eight in the evening and we turned on the lights. Meat was consumed cooked in its juice or dried.
The collective broke up in 1990 and her family withdrew from the collective in the second round. The privatization process was largely organized by the people who had managed the collective. It was been decided to give 20 cattle to each collective member through the 'large' privatization. In the process of the collective meeting 13 people withdrew from the collective in the first round. Her family has withdrawn from the collective in the second wave and later some ‘ails’ couldn’t get any livestock. Some of the joint collective property was transferred into cash and a shareholding company was formed based on the rest of the property but it has also been dissolved. The sum club was shut down and divided among some people.
Quite a lot of people have accepted the democratic revolution of 1990 hesitantly. But there were also people who supported it. A man called Namhai established a branch of the Social-Democratic party. The Revolutionary Party people said his wife hadn’t disciplined her husband well. Their family was related to Lhamjav guai therefore the Revolutionary Party people didn’t come to their place to distribute materials during the elections.
Summary of Interview 090769B with Oyunsüren by Otgonbayar
This interview began by talking about the social status of women. According to what Oyunsüren egch said, the women of the socialist period raised their livestock even if they reached the age of sixty and they couldn’t even go to sanatoriums because they were afraid the collective work would be left unlooked-after. But now everything is free and you can go to any place to have a rest. Concerning the clothes, they used to stand in a queue for a long time to get footwear that cost 45 tögrögs and silk for 95 tögrögs. The public service made clothes but they were all of one design. The work and labor issue was tough compared to the present day. From June to October they milked the mares the whole day through in the sun. A man who had cows had milk norms and he worked according to it.
The mothers worked a lot but they had no possessions of their own, they distributed all their belongings to their children. But in their homeland the traditional conception of a woman as a household slave and a man’s servant had been slightly moderated in the socialist time. But the women with a sharp character who expressed their views freely weren’t accepted with favor. Such an attitude could be observed. Even when their children married, sons received more of an inheritance.
Concerning the state policy on women, the women herders were granted the right to have rest for 14 days prior to their delivery of children. There was a children’s allowance and later the women have been granted two years of paid leave. Before that, they used to go to work 45 days after having their children at the hospital.
It has been observed that the people seemed to have lost their intellectual value since democracy. The children’s upbringing has become different. The countryside schooling lags behind and discriminating against children has a backward affect on their minds. There’s a great burden on six year old children who start living in the dormitory. Also, it is a very important issue to educate mainly girls. The boys mostly don’t study and the majority of them go to the countryside, and the ‘ails’ separate some livestock from their herd to give them to the children who are in the countryside thus preparing their own replacement. In fact, the herder’s work is very hard and it has no break. The cattle price always fluctuates therefore it is tough.
The people during socialism were very faithful to their work. There was a system of criticizing if the work wasn’t done well and encouraging if it was done well. The workers treated their dargas with great respect. The dargas had clean clothes and the children played imitating dargas. There was a person who had quarreled with his darga and then he started herding horses although he was a driver.
The environment and the weather have become very dry and there are cases of changing the names of the rivers and the mountains. The name of a hill of their homeland has been changed into a nickname of one old man Zantgar.