Interviewee ID: 990383
Parent's name: Sanjaa
Year of Birth: 1959
Notes on education:
Born in: Türgen sum, Uvs aimag
Lives in: Songinohairhan sum (or part of UB), Ulaanbaatar aimag
Mother's profession: salesperson
Father's profession: teacher
To read a full interview with Badamhand please click on the Interview ID below.
Summary of Interview 090931A with Badamhand by Tsetsegjargal
Badamhand was born in Turgen sum, Uvs aimag. In 1976 she moved to Ulaanbaatar. She worked in the military for 22 years before retiring.
In the socialist time people were very aware that work should be done on-time and you had to do your assigned work. That’s why people had a good attitude towards work.
There were plenty of work places during socialism. If one couldn’t enter the school he or she wished to study at, he could enter vocational school and after graduation, he’d have a job. After graduating from the Construction Vocational school, I was appointed to the military construction unit of the Ministry of Defense and I worked for 22 years in the military. I was one of the few female construction bosses in the military. I used to teach the soldiers how to do the wiring and plumbing. The soldiers working in construction came and worked where ever building works were being undertaken. The construction soldiers received a salary.
There had been many young people who came home after demobilization with a motorcycle worth 6000 tögrögs after three years of military service. The military construction branch existed for 70 years and now it is being shut down. Back then, young people didn’t join the construction sector thinking that bad people became construction workers. But it is a wonderful vocation that lets you see what you made. There was a lot of industrial works. There used to be many plants in Darhan and Ulaanbaatar. The moment you graduated from the vocational school you were appointed to work there.
In the socialist time people improved their profession but they didn’t change their employment. I gave birth to four children and I went to work when they were 5 months old. My children Were brought up by the kindergartens and schools. I usually worked for 12 hours and sometimes I stayed overnight at work. At that time my husband and my mother-in-law managed the household. We used to attend a meeting at 7:20 am and went to work at 8:00 am. Our collective helped each other to manage the household work. For example, if you couldn’t pick up the children from kindergarten, they got them from the kindergarten and brought them home. Many measures were organized for the collective to have a collective spirit. The military construction unit No.158 where I had been working went bankrupt in 2002. Nevertheless, the construction sector is developing right now therefore most of them have work. The socialist era education is very useful today in construction.
I didn’t understand the democracy at the beginning. There had been no changes in our family life since democracy. The men have slightly misunderstood democracy, and they make their wives do the household work while they themselves drink alcohol. In the time of the market women started pursuing money and raising their children. When the elections come, the votes of the poor are purchased, therefore the sense of democracy is lost.