Interviewee ID: 990583
Parent's name: Tseren
Year of Birth: 1945
Notes on education: sports teacher
Born in: Mönhhairhan sum, Hovd aimag
Lives in: Jargalant sum (or part of UB), Hovd aimag
Mother's profession: herder
Father's profession: herder
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Summary of Interview 101103A with Böhöö by Otgonbayar
By the traditional custom, firstly, on 8th and 15th of the first month of the lunar calendar year, or the meatless days
Böhöö guai was born in the place called Uliastin Hushan of Alag bag of Mönhhairhan sum of Hovd. His father died when he was a child therefore he took his mother’s name. He moved to the sum elementary school and graduated from it. He completed his secondary school in Möst. In 1963 he graduated the Teacher’s Institute and he worked as an elementary class teacher in Santmargad sum of Zavhan aimag. In 1967 he came to Mönhhairhan sum to work there. In 1972-1979 he worked as a Revolutionary Youth League darga of Mönhhairhan and Üyench sums. As a teacher he said, it was necessary to give the children’s education a sound foundation.
Religion was strictly prohibited. A lama from his homeland whose name was Riimet was arrested and imprisoned for ten years and then he returned. He countered rain. In the old days there was a strict rule for the people commencing the religious study. They had to pray for several days on the slab used for prostration and then crawl under the ruler held by the lamas. In case he succeeded doing that, he could start his religious studies.
Lately the young people have started to worship Christianity. In 2000 Böhöö guai assisted in establishing a temple in Mönhhairhan sum by the donation of believers. The MP Demberel, Adishaa and director Tulga and many other people assisted in this matter. Adishaa brought 108 volumes of Ganjuur Danjuur at his own expense and the lamas have come from the city to read the sutras and the temple was established. Nowadays there are several young lamas residing in the temple.
In the socialist period religion was forbidden and the people worshipped secretly. There was a party cell darga whose name was Zurgaadai, he destroyed a balin of an ‘ail’ during Tsagaan Sar. But today the sum citizens visit that darga first in order to greet him. In the old days the lamas had knowledge of all the land in the territory and the herbs growing there, and perhaps they were specialized in each area. A research worker from the Academy of Science came and Avirmed ah has been reciting the epics for two days drinking tea. A bard usually knows by heart 8000 verses. There’s a religious implication in reciting the epics.
Summary of Interview 101103B with Böhöö by Otgonbayar
Böhöö guai’s uncle whose name is Bütemjiin Togjoo was arrested in April of 1938 and in October he was executed. His grandfather was a commander /zangi/ and he had approximately 6000 head of livestock. He hadn’t collectivized all of his livestock, retaining about 4000 head.
In 1932 the Urianhai people crossed the border fleeing from revolution. They went there and sent a letter from there saying everything was fine there. They asked to bring the ger. They have gathered at his grandfathers’s place to have a meeting. They have understood ‘toono’ meant the ruler. At that time Chütem da lama was a government propagandist and he read the letter and disliked it. But he was tied up and sent across the border.
The two younger brothers of his mother, as the children of a counter-revolutionary, were sent to serve the military, and the younger brother died from hepatitis in the army. During the Halh Gol war Böhöö guai’s grandmother whose name was Ragchaa took some lambskin lining as a gift and went to Ulaanbaatar by relay station to meet Choibalsan. She told him about her situation and had her older son Chültem withdrawn from the military service and she took him home.
There was an incident that happened to a man called Hüüdei. He sold his party certification to a young man from a rich family and was expelled from the party.
As Böhöö guai said, he didn't really collectivize the camels. He gave about 200 goats to the collective. His uncle gave about 2000 head of livestock. His uncle had about 700 cows and according to the official regulations a standard norm was set to give 100 liters of milk per cow. Because of this his uncle has been imprisoned twice for failing to fulfil the norm. Later he gave them away to the collective to get rid of the livestock he could be fined for.
Böhöö guai collectivized many livestock but during the privatization process he was an official so he didn’t get any livestock. An old woman whose name was Sosor had a document written with an indelible pencil and with a seal where the number of cattle collectivized by her father had been recorded. She took out this document and said she wouldn’t sue but that they weren’t aware of their work.
When burying the dead, they didn’t ask for fortune telling in their land. They usually visited the lama to ask the day of the funeral. They weren’t concerned about the 49 days. Funerals were prohibited on Thursday, Saturday and Sunday and on the eve of Tsagaan Sar, the 8th and 9th day of the first month of the year by the lunar calendar. They asked the directions to go and buried them on a slope and in spacious areas. The little children could be mislaid. Only in the recent time the dead are put in a coffin otherwise they were wrapped in felt and buried. When put in an open place, 5 pictures of a condor was drawn and put on five sides of it.
The engagement and matchmaking ceremonies have become very large recently.