Interviewee ID: 990068
Parent's name: Gombo
Year of Birth: 1956
Notes on education:
Work: university professor
Belief: Buddhist (red hat), shamanism
Born in: Yosön-züil sum, Övörhangai aimag
Lives in: Bayanzürh sum (or part of UB), Ulaanbaatar aimag
Mother's profession: herder
Father's profession: herder
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education / cultural production; foreign relations; politics / politicians; military; herding / livestock;
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Summary of Interview 081211B with Tseren
The territory of Esonzüil sum in Hentii aimag is a narrow, long strip of land. In the centre of the sum territory there is a mountain called Züün Hairhan, which was worshipped by people from three different hoshuus, namely Eldenbeiliin hoshuu of Sain aimag, Dalain günii hoshuu and Tse günii hoshuu of Tüsheet Han aimag. This mountain is also known as Urlagan Hairhan (lit. beautiful mountain), because of its beauty. People from this area have been famous for their craftsmanship.
The year when Tseren finished the eighth grade coincided with the construction of the Erdenet mining corporation, the biggest mining project of the socialist period. As there was demand for specialists in mining, Tseren was among those who were assigned to study in a mining technical school in Omsk, the USSR. In the autumn, Tseren, accompanied by his father, arrived in Ulaanbaatar from Ӧvӧrhangai. His relatives, however, were not happy, because they thought that a good student like him was sent to a technical school. Tseren could not go to the USSR but went back to his aimag to continue his study, for it turned out that there was no bilateral agreement between the two governments regarding sending Mongolian students to that particular school in Omsk. When Tseren was in his final year in secondary school, rumours had it that Tsedenbal ordered that children from the countryside be sent to study international relations abroad, pointing out that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs had become a family-run organisation packed with the children of diplomats. That year children only from the countryside were supposed to study international relations. But when Tseren wanted to apply, he was not allowed, for no apparent reason. In 1975, he entered the Mongolian State University to study philosophy. When he finished his first year, a door was opened by the 128th decree allowing best university students to study abroad from their second year. Although Tseren was successful in the selection process and managed to secure a place in Moscow, he was asked to study philosophy at the Rostov University, for the number of foreign students in Moscow was being cut in preparation for the upcoming Olympics in 1980. Tseren studied in Rostov for five years.