Interviewee ID: 990515
Parent's name: Sampil
Year of Birth: 1929
Notes on education:
Born in: Bayanhongor sum, Bayanhongor aimag
Lives in: Bayanhongor sum (or part of UB), Bayanhongor aimag
Mother's profession: herder
Father's profession: herder
To read a full interview with Sodnom please click on the Interview ID below.
Summary of Interview 091215A with Sodnom by Sainbileg
Sodnom was born in 1929 in Durvuljingiin Buuts in Hanan hoshoo of Bayan-Ovoo sum of Bayanhongor aimag. Now he is 81 and he has twelve siblings. He went to the sum elementary school when he was 11. From 1950 he served in the army for three years. In the army he served in first 'bullet' regiment [ie, infantry], and he was also a guard for the Russian Embassy.
The elementary school had four grades and it was in the centre of Erdenetsogt. We used to sit around the stove and our the front of our deels would get burnt. We were taught such subjects as the environment, grammar and ancient history. In 1944 we had a horrible 'zud'. The cow shook its head and froze to death. Many livestock died.
There was a lot of propaganda for the collectivization movement. They used to say that by joining a negdel, and through cooperative labour, we'd have advantages. The salary varied according to how many livestock you. Initially, few people joined the collective; by the end the number increased, and two or three cooperatives were formed.
The cultural campaign really was an attack. The households were made to have hygiene corners and libraries, they even made wooden floors for the gers. The cultural campaign wasn't only about being clean and neat; it was also about reading books and newspapers.
At that time the dead used to be put out in open. A relative who had a favourable year went to the funeral with one meter of white cloth with one hadag. The corpse was carried on a camel horizontally and securely fastened on two overturned baskets and at the burial place place it was put covered with the white cloth and sticks or stones were put on the four corners. Then the sutras were read. On the way back the baskets were turned right-side up and filled with dried dung and the camel was made to run. In the recent times people build fences and place stones [ie, use cemetaries and gravestones]. Maybe it is the right thing to do.