Interviewee ID: 990424
Parent's name: Hüühen
Year of Birth: 1969
Occupations: Herder, cultural center music teacher
Education: incomplete secondary
Notes on education: This most likely means 7 years of schooling.
Born in: Manlai sum, Ömnögovi aimag
Lives in: Manlai sum (or part of UB), Ömnögovi aimag
Mother's profession: herder
Father's profession: [blank]
To read a full interview with Saranchimeg please click on the Interview ID below.
Summary of Interview 080823A with Saranchimeg by Oyuntungalag
Saranchimeg is one of five children in her family. She has eight years of formal education. After finishing the 8th grade she became a member of Komsomol and volunteered to become a herder. After herding goats for twenty years, she became a music teacher in the cultural club in Manlai sum.
She discusses a broad variety of topics: her understanding of the collectivisation, how Tsagaan Sar was celebrated in her childhood, what was it like studying in secondary school, what cultural activities there were in the country-side, films that she saw in her childhood, hooliganism in her sum, democracy in Mongolia, and how privatization was carried out. An interesting memory from her secondary school years is connected with drills carried out among schoolchildren in anticipation of bomb attacks by the United States. The schoolchildren were instructed on how to find shelter, how to transport the injured, and so on. She also recalls that films in her childhood were supposed to be without any sexual content or hint. If in the film a couple was about to hug each other, the mechanic immediately used to cover that episode with his hat. Another vivid memory from her secondary school years is connected with hooliganism. In the dormitory where she stayed there was a boy regarded as the alpha male. Other boys in the dormitory were supposed to pay him money. There was also a group of boys who served and catered for him. Not only was there an on-going hostility between the dormitory boys and those studying in the Technical College, but also the local youth regularly fought with the soldiers from the nearby garrison.
According to her, socialism was a harsh, dictatorial society. Everyone obeyed the rules. In comparison, today there is less order and more freedom.
Summary of Interview 080823B with Saranchimeg by Oyuntungalag
In this interview Saranchimeg tells about her children, privatization, her jobs as a herder and as a music teacher, work ethics in socialism and today, what she heard of the cultural campaign, what she thinks of traditional or ancestral wisdom, and why theft is spreading in her aimag. She says that she personally did not experience the cultural campaign, though heard from her mother and grandmother that it was aimed to improve hygiene among people and eradicate certain diseases. Her memory of socialism is as follows: job was understood as a duty, people were responsible, it was an authoritarian regime, dargas were both respected and being afraid of, and everything was under state control. In contrast, today people see their job as an occupation that brings income, responsibility diminished among people, dargas are not necessarily respected, and the state is not in full control. According to her, the ‘transitional period’ has been lasting for too long. Theft has increased in her aimag because of the on-going Oyu-Tolgoi development project.
Saranchimeg did not like her previous job of a herder. She is happy and satisfied with her current teaching job, though with her small salary she cannot afford to pay her children’s tuition fees.