Interviewee ID: 990104
Parent's name: Bayargür
Year of Birth: 1958
Education: tusgai dund
Notes on education:
Work: state gymnastic committee
Born in: Züünbayan-Ulaan sum, Övörhangai aimag
Lives in: Arvaiheer sum (or part of UB), Övörhangai aimag
Mother's profession: retired, herder
Father's profession: retired, herder
Themes for this interview, suggested by the interview team, are:
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work; democracy; childhood; environment; education / cultural production;
Alternative keywords suggested by readers for this interview are: (Please click on a keyword to see more interviews, if any, on that topic)
cultural campaigns; socialism; privatization; environment; environmental degradation;
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Summary of Interview 081226A with Sereenendorj
The interviewee was born in 1958 in Zuunbayan-Ulaan sum, Ӧvӧrhangai aimag. His father, Bazargur, was a herder. The interviewee is the oldest of seven children in his family. He is married and has a child. He finished elementary school in Devshil brigade, and then the eighth grade in Zuunbayan-Ulaan sum. After attending technical college in Ulaanbaatar where he studied communication, he went to serve in the army in 1976. After the army, he worked as the head of the post office in his native sum until 1987. From 1987 to 1997 he headed the agricultural stock exchange in Ӧvӧrhangai. Since 2001 he has been working as an advisor-trainer at the Sport Committee of Ӧvӧrhangai aimag.
The interviewee says that he has some basic ideas what the cultural campaigns were all about. He however knows almost nothing about the collectivization. He has both good and negative memories about the socialist period. His negative memories are connected mostly with authoritarianism: Bureaucrats acted like oppressors, people could not choose but were assigned to a job, people could not divorce without dire consequences, etc. What was good about socialism is that ordinary people were sent to other socialist countries on training courses; people were promoted based on their abilities and not on their connections and money as it is a common practice today; the Soviet Union helped Mongolia, both during war and peace time. The interviewee supports democracy, for it ‘brought many good things’ to Mongolia. In his view, democracy began correctly, but later it was geared in the wrong direction. The privatization was carried out fairly in some areas, but not in others. For example, herders in general gained from the privatization, whereas industrial workers did not.
The interviewee recalls that in the socialist period his parents celebrated Tsaagan Sar secretly. Since the democratic changes, the environment in his native sum degraded dramatically. The river Ong, for example, shrank beyond recognition. People who do mining are to blame for this.