Interviewee ID: 990089
Parent's name: Dugarjav
Year of Birth: 1938
Education: tusgai dund
Notes on education:
Born in: Tariat sum, Arhangai aimag
Lives in: Songinohairhan sum (or part of UB), Ulaanbaatar aimag
Mother's profession: herder
Father's profession: hunter, bard
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literature; repressions; childhood; education / cultural production; relations between men and women;
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Summary of Interview 090110B with Baasanjav
Since childhood, Baasanjav admired Chinese writers, and read their works. His interest in Chinese literature is connected with one story. In his youth, Baasanjav knew a girl called Guean, who had a Russian mother and a Chinese father. She was an amazing person with many skills: she spoke Chinese, Russian, and Manchu, played the musical instrument shanz, and could dance beautifully. She also read ancient Chinese poems, which gave Baasanjav the opportunity to get to know Chinese poetry. Baasanjav recalls, ‘That girl told me about the Chinese script of the Cold Mountain, about the case of Shi Ming, about the legends of the Three Mountains. She saw that I had a literary gift’.
Baasanjav was not a professional writer, but a worker. He worked as a veterinary and then as an aid to the director of a collective farm in different places, including a meat factory, a pig farm, and a food market. He wrote in his spare time. Despite not having a literary training, Baasanjav developed his writing skills by himself. ‘A proper writer does not write what society demands of him/her. A writer has to be the voice of the people in order to protect and save them from the oppression of the party and foreign aggressors’, he says.
Baasanjav’s biological father was persecuted when Baasanjav was only a toddler. Baasanjav learnt about this from his mother. At that time many people in Tariat sum, Arhangai aimag, were arrested. Not knowing who was enemy and who was not, many people were divided among themselves.