Interviewee ID: 990204
Parent's name: Tseveen
Year of Birth: 1938
Education: incomplete secondary
Notes on education: This most likely means 7 years of schooling.
Work: retired, worked in trade
Born in: Servee sum, Ömnögovi aimag
Lives in: Bayanzürh sum (or part of UB), Ulaanbaatar aimag
Mother's profession: herder
Father's profession: herder
Themes for this interview, suggested by the interview team, are:
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collectivization; childhood; life in wartime; work; family;
Alternative keywords suggested by readers for this interview are: (Please click on a keyword to see more interviews, if any, on that topic)
collectivization; collective member; herder; herder's life before collectivization; childhood; family with many children;
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Summary of Interview 090326A with Tserenpil
I was born in 1938 in Sevrei sum. After finishing elementary school, I tended cattle until the age of 21. After the victory of the collectivization movement, I went to the state factory and worked there for ten years. After that I had worked at the aimag trading organization. My husband died at the age of 45. Since then I had led and managed my own life.
It started when the Central Committee and the Government issued a resolution to form collectives. The collectivization movement started at the time of the First Secretary of the Central Committee whose name was Damba. During the collectivization movement I had been tending livestock. Initially in 1957 those people joined the collective that voluntarily collectivized their livestock. Ten ails in our sum initially joined the negdel. From the beginning of 1959 everyone was made to join the collective. All the livestock were collectivized, leaving 70 head of livestock to a family with more than four members and 30 head of livestock to a family with less than four members. During the victory of the collectivization movement I had been working as the head of the women’s council of the bag, and was also a propagandist. I visited the ‘ails’ and propagandized for people to collectivize their livestock, and they, in their turn, joined the negdels thinking they should do it if all the people nationwide joined. Some cried and scolded and didn’t want to join it. I had been scolded in one family. They had over 1000 of livestock and perhaps they got angry when their livestock were collectivized leaving them 70 head of livestock out of 1000. They got angry, cried and scolded. We agitated night and day to convince them and in this way we collectivized their livestock. Even our family retained 70 head of livestock out of 400 and the rest were collectivized.
In our homeland people didn’t hide their cattle. I heard people from the mountainous aimags used to hide their livestock in order not to collectivize them. The law had been strict about hiding them. Our sum people all had joined the negdel within a two-month period. The majority of the people were very reluctant, thinking how could they manage with 30, 70 head of cattle. But when most of the people joined, they followed the rest. And they used to change their minds when they were told that the wool and cashmere tax would be borne by the state and they would be given a salary. Before the forming of the collectives, the herders used to pay the state provision of meat, wool and cashmere tax themselves. After collectivization of the herders’ livestock, the branding of livestock with the collective’s brand was carried out for over two months. After joining the collective people started to make hay, providing the winter food together collectively and the herders’ life quickly improved. Then, seeing the fruits of the collective over a year, the people’s attitude began to change for the better. Since the victory of the collective movement the cultural campaign had been conducted and it became slightly different. Before that the Mongolians had been quite vulgar.
Information had been spread orally and there were no newspapers. The Ulaanbaatar representative went to aimag, the aimag representative – to the sum, the sum representative went to the bag and propagandized among the people. The sum and bag leaders organized meetings and they gave assignments and praised those who had worked well, scolded the bad ones and punished them. The sum and bag agitators were given tasks to visit the ‘ails’ and make them collect so many kilograms of grass, to finish providing this many kiloggrams of wool and cashmere, to send their children to school. We visited ‘ails’ during a one-month period and agitated. Then, at the end of the month visit of the ails we made a report that said, ”Visited this many ails, made such agitations, in this way made the ail to provide the wool and cashmere they still owed, in this way sent them haymaking” , and gave the report to the senior agitator. The senior agitator would pass the report on. The person who was able to agitate and take notes and who was good at talking was said to be an agitator and after a meeting he was chosen to become one. The agitators used to go by their own camel and horse. In my time when I worked as an agitator, the agitators weren’t given salary.