Interviewee ID: 990589
Parent's name: Tseden-Ish
Ovog: Toliton burguud
Year of Birth: 1937
Occupations: retired / herder
Notes on education:
Born in: Erdenebüren sum, Hovd aimag
Lives in: Jargalant sum (or part of UB), Hovd aimag
Mother's profession: herder
Father's profession: herder
To read a full interview with Sambid please click on the Interview ID below.
Summary of Interview 101109A with Sambid by Otgonbayar
A native citizen of Erdenebüren sum of Hovd aimag Sambid who is of Ööld nationality was born in 1937. At the time of Sambid guai’s birth his father had gone to serve in the military in the Halh Gol army for five years. His mother died one month after his birth. The parents of Sambid guai’s uncle adopted him and raised him until he was 6 or 7 years old when his natural father came home after demobilization. But he didn’t take Sambid.
At the age of six he developed echinococcus on his stomach and it was like a pregnant woman’s stomach. His adopted parents secretly took him to an old man called Servant (barlag) Sharlag who cured people. The Russian doctors in the hospital of that time had Mongolian translators. He had an x-ray in Ulaanbaatar. At that time they didn’t take pictures like today when x-raying. They used to let you into a dark room and looked through. In order to have surgery Sambid guai had his rib cut off. He couldn’t attend school due to his illness since childhood.
In 1958 the ‘Socialism’ collective was established in Sambid guai’s sum and the collectivization movement flourished. Mostly the poor people joined the collectives. Each person who joined the collective raised 500 head of livestock. If he was short in the number of collective livestock he had to pay a fine. When he was young, the plants and the grass grew well and they didn’t use any livestock feed. In 1990 with the advent of democracy the collectives broke up.
Sambid guai got married and he has ten children. In the period of bureaucracy or the socialist period there was a very strict totalitarian regime, and if a goat had a miscarriage they had to pay a fine. Sambid guai’s ten children used to live in the school dormitory.
Though Sambid guai didn’t attend school he became literate on his own. There weren’t plenty of ABC books when he studied the ABC therefore he asked about the letters from the others. In this way he learned the ABC. There was no white paper then and there was a brown paper used to wrap tea on which they wrote with a pellet (collected from a mountain, with a nectar) and a match head.
They were rewarded with golden bag and cotton if they raised many young animals and worked well grazing the cooperative cattle. Sambid guai’s wife became a state leading milkmaid and she received an award. His wife’s father was a Manchu lama and then he became secular.
In the socialist period the party prohibited celebrating tsagaan sar and from 1990 it has approved of it. When joining the party, one was discussed at the all party members’ meeting and he was entrusted to one party member. He gave a promise and then he joined the party. In the socialist period there was no religion, but the people lit oil lamps, offered the best of tea and the meal, on 30th of each month fasted and ate a light meal like rice.
Summary of Interview 101109B with Sambid by Otgonbayar
During the cultural campaign the sum and the bag delegates were appointed to inspect the herders’ hygiene. They checked if there were lice in the blankets, towels, cauldron cloth, all kerchiefs and the heads. They undressed the children and examined each of them very carefully. In case there were shortcomings, a picture of a pig was hung on their ger door and they took measures. The inspection people had a report meeting and they announced the report to the masses. The result of the inspection was published in ‘Labor’ newspaper.
If one ‘ail’ of a brigade or a bag had bad marks, it affected all the ‘ails’ of the brigade therefore they strove as a whole brigade. All prepared for the cultural campaign inspection as best as they could. The herders bathed in the river in warm seasons and in the cold seasons they bathed in a tub. When bathing, there was no shampoo. They bought laundry soap and face soap from the agent and bathed once or twice a month.
At the time of the collectivization movement the ‘ails’ had an open fire and the herders got livestock from the collective. With the beginning of the cultural campaign each ‘ail’ has acquired a stove, a white inside and outside ger cover and curtains. Before the start of the cultural campaign there were no wood frames in the toono. The toono was open and, taking out the stovepipe, the örh (smoke hole cover) was covered. Some ’ails’ inside ger cover was dark and covered with dust. Trousers were made from the pieces of sheepskin. The trousers got dirty, too. If lice appeared in the trousers, there was nothing to do but throw them away. Being without trousers is the least thing you could have. When infected with lice, we used to beat them or take off the clothes and put them outside in the cold. Since the cultural campaign inspection the lice have decreased greatly.
When going by caravan, we spent the nights in a hut. We built a hut tying up the heads of the ger poles. We took mutton, flour, cooked rice and butter when going by caravan.