Interviewee ID: 990591
Parent's name: Avdii
Year of Birth: 1941
Notes on education: zootechnician
Born in: Bayannuur sum, Bayan-Ölgii aimag
Lives in: Buyant sum (or part of UB), Hovd aimag
Mother's profession: herder
Father's profession: herder
To read a full interview with Sheken please click on the Interview ID below.
Summary of Interview 101111A with Sheken by Otgonbayar
Avdiin Sheken guai was born as the youngest child of a family in 1941 in the Teshig land of Bayannuur sum of Bayan-Ölgii aimag. He completed the elementary school of Hovd sum and attended the secondary school of the aimag in 1957. Having completed secondary school, he entered the animal husbandry faculty of the Agricultural Institute. He has studied there for five years and, having graduated from the school, he was appointed by the Ministry to work in Bogd sum of Övörhangai aimag. He has worked there for a while and returned to his homeland. He has worked there for 32 years and retired.
When he was young, bushes were burnt as winter fuel. When he woke up in the morning, he was covered with frost and he lay there as white as snow. Sheken guai recalled, he had a poor life and he could see stars through the hole in the ger.
In the socialist period religion was prohibited. An ideological darga from the committee strictly prohibited having sutras read. Therefore he used to read books and worship during the night. A great number of mullahs have been victimized in the political repressions. The mullahs in the closed society trained their disciples in secret and mostly they trained their own children.
The moment a person died the Kazakhs announced it to the people and they gathered in the place where the dead person had lived. They took out all the furniture and many people guarded the corpse through the night and in the morning they took him out to be buried. An animal is slaughtered for the people who had guarded the dead through the night and they are given meals. The person who treats the dead is washed and clothed in white. When washing the corpse, men and women were kept apart. There’s a man who pours water. At night candles are lit at the head and the feet . Gauze and a coarse calico are applied together and wrapped round the corpse. Then the mullahs read the prayers.
In the socialist period the Kazakhs, welcoming the Nauryz holiday (Spring New Year), fasted secretly for a month. In 1992 a mosque was built in Buyant sum. When entering the mosque, one should wash his hands and feet and bathe. He may not enter it with shoes and he goes in with only socks. Before, when the Kazakhs got married, they had their marriage certified by the mullah in the mosque. In the socialist period the Nauryz holiday was celebrated on 22d of March and the Mongolian Tsagaan Sar in February therefore they both were celebrated together.
When Sheken guai was young, the banks along the river Buyant were full of bushes and woods so that a horseman couldn’t penetrate them.
Summary of Interview 101111B with Sheken by Otgonbayar
There was a ‘Soyolt’ collective in Buyant sum, and the collective leadership consisted of nine people. The leadership was composed of the collective darga, the general specialists, a veterinarian, an economist and a general accountant. With the breakup of the collective and the privatization of it some people got wells and some got fences. In this way the collective property was privatized. Some have raised and increased the livestock received through privatization and some wasted them.
An aimag representative came and was assigned to organize work within the sum by bags. The bags and the brigades divided the work and they went to the herders and gave them assignments. The herders had to fulfill the requirements given from above. Every year a demonstration was organized in one sum on winter preparation and preparing for the arrival the young animals. In the socialist time the herders had only 75 head of livestock and the collective officials 16 heads, if the number was over 75, the collective took the extra ones. When joining the party, one had to be a deputy member for a year period.
The Kazakhs living in Mongolia visit the Mongolian astrologists, the fortunetellers and the lamas to have sutras read.