Basic information
Interviewee ID: 990116
Name: Anonymous
Parent's name: Anonymous
Ovog: [blank]
Sex: f
Year of Birth: 1948
Ethnicity: Buriad

Additional Information
Education: higher
Notes on education: degree in physics
Work: retired
Belief: none
Born in: Bayandun sum, Dornod aimag
Lives in: Han-Uul sum (or part of UB), Ulaanbaatar aimag
Mother's profession: herder
Father's profession: herder

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education / cultural production; family; privatization; cultural campaigns; repressions;

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Summary of Interview 090118A with Anonymous

D. Tserenhand was born in 1948 in Bayandun sum of Dornod aimag as the youngest daughter of Dugarjav. She qualified as a physics teacher and taught at the special 29th secondary school, 60th school, a vocational school and then retired.

Her parents are the Buriads who fled from the October Revolution in the Russian Federation and moved into Mongolian territory and settled there.

She reminisced about her parents. Her father was an ordinary man but from his childhood he was involved in trading in Khiagt. He worked closely with the Chinese and he learned the Chinese language. He knew Chinese, Mongolian and Russian. Her father served in the Russian 17th army. She has found out later from her mother that her father used to be sent to spy after they had settled in the territory of Mongolia. He left home saying the sum administration had called him. He went with the clothes he had on and disappeared for several months or a whole year. And suddenly he would re-appear. He came in as if nothing happened, as if he went away only yesterday. He never said anything definite about where he went and what he was doing. Her mother later found out he had been called from the Ministry of Public Security and sent to spy to the territory of Shinjan Uigur, Inner Mongolia. There were people who had seen Tserenhand’s father work by trade contract in the north in Russia. In other words, he worked as a trader. There were no materials found on her father’s espionage activities. In later days she learned that his documentation was in the 17th army and then the Russian 17th army removed his materials to the north. He had an excellent command of Russian. He worked in an arteli in Bayandun and then he moved to Ulaanbaatar and worked as a carpenter at the Trade Union Council. Then he retired on a pension.

Tserenhand’s mother told her own history to her daughter. She came to Mongolia when she was nine years old. Her grandparents were herders in the territory of the Russian Buriads. The neighboring ails always assisted each other and when the neighboring ‘ail’ asked her nine year-old daughter to help driving the sheep, her mother approved of it and sent her daughter to assist them. That ail took her to Mongolia not telling her mother they were going to move there. In the Mongolian land, the nine year old girl, having been separated from her home and her mother, always cried looking to the north. Reaching the age of nineteen she rode the best horse and galloped home but it was tough, as the Bolsheviks tried to arrest her. The people warned her mother, “They will consider her a refugee, let her go back, you’ll get in trouble. They’ll come galloping right away. Either conceal her or let her go back”. Once when the Bolsheviks came to search, the Buriads usually piled up the stacked hay. Underneath they dug a hole and put the girl into it, covering it up. The Bolsheviks shot the hay and ransacked everything and the girl was hardly left alive, her mother told her. They couldn’t live peacefully under such dictatorship, and if they were caught, they were exiled. The people used to be exiled. Her mother returned back because there was a danger of getting into any kind of trouble there.

Coming back to Mongolia she married her father and has lived a settled life in Mongolia. After 40 years she found her mother (Tserendolgor’s grandmother) and she died in Mongolia. She told a very interesting history of her parents.

Repression was transformed into despotism, it wasn’t repression but it was a direct despotism, she concluded. She told about what kind of influence the people who had come following her parents on the lives of the Mongolians and some of the repressive cases of that time.

Tserenhand spent her childhood in Ulaanbaatar with her older brother Tseren. Her older brother Tseren’s ger was at where is now Center of Culture in a log-house of the teachers of the MNU. She talked about why newly born Tserenhand was sent from Dornod to Ulaanbaatar, where and which school she attended. Her older brother Tseren was a University physics teacher and she chose to be a physics teacher. She is proud of her brother. Having graduated from the University, she went to her native land and started her career there. She also told about the 29th school of the capital, how it was established, what specific classes were there and the reason why she started teaching there.

Before 1990 she sewed a few things along with her work and she sold them at the market. During the break-up of 1990 when she has been teaching at the 60th school, she used to manage a little business. Right at that time the people’s work attitude started to change. She told very clearly how this attitude started to change. She shared her good reminisces of how she worked with children and how she spent her free time with children.

At that time the Russian specialists used to come and teach in the vocational schools. In fact, the school provision and the educational basis were good, not comparable with the present time. The educational basis was good with wonderful teaching cabinets and automatic welding and electric machinery. She recalled the vocational school where the guys with high boots gathered and it was the specific feature of the vocational school.

She has told extensively how the cultural campaign was carried out in Ulaanbaatar. During the cultural campaign there were inspections here and there in Sühbaatar square, the children were sent to be on duty and they stopped the passers-by to check if they had handkerchiefs or not.

She told about the privatization process, about the value of the pink and the blue coupons, what the ordinary citizens have acquired by the break-up of socialist property, how some of them misappropriated the property and how some of them were left empty. She told about the events happening around her.