Interviewee ID: 990184
Parent's name: Orshih
Year of Birth: 1956
Notes on education: doctor
Work: head of private women's hospital
Born in: Tes sum, Uvs aimag
Lives in: [None Given] sum (or part of UB), Ulaanbaatar aimag
Mother's profession: herder
Father's profession: herder
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education / cultural production; work; illness / health; funerals; environment;
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Summary of Interview 090413A with Tögsjargal
Tögsjargal guai was born the third child of a family with ten children. They had 50 head of cattle and her dad used to make ger frames and her mom stayed at home therefore their life was hard. Her mother hand-made all the clothes and footwear for the family. A child of only six years old went to graze the sheep and made flour from barley. They had much work to do.
The classroom was very cold in the school and the dip pen froze before it reached the notebook. Her brothers and sisters attended school as well. Therefore one of three children from one family was taken into the dormitory. So, one large cattle was given to another ’ail’ and instead of their child Tögsjargal guai was taken to the dormitory.
In 1959 when the cattle were collectivized, they had over 300 cattle and they were left with only 50 head. Her parents cried wondering how to feed their children. Her father took part in the 1939 and the 1945 wars and after his death his war veteran certificate arrived. Choibalsan died on the eve of Tsagaan Sar [in 1952] therefore, since then it was forbidden to celebrate Tsagaan Sar but the ‘ails’ celebrated it secretly.
If the schoolchildren had good academic achievements, they were given green soap. She finished her secondary school in Baruun Turuu and following her older brother’s advice she chose to study at the medical school. Tögsjargal guai talked extensively about going to the city and being welcomed by her relatives. She registered at the school and she went to help with the harvest. The medical school had 300 tögrögs scholarship for advanced students so she worked hard. In her student time she sewed and knit some items and sold them.
After graduation she started to work in Hovd as a gynecologist. At that time Cesareans were rare done. She was overworked in the hospital. It was the practice to boil the syringes.
Later she followed her husband to Ulaanbaatar and shifted to the second maternity hospital to work. At that time insertion of an IUD and abortion were carried out only according to special directives. Therefore the women who wanted to have abortions came with their uterus full of alcohol and soap bubble that they had pressed into it. They had their uterus cleaned. Almost twenty women came one night with miscarriages. Since abortion became available cases of miscarriage have decreased.
In the socialist period the countryside hospitals’ provision of medications was sufficient and it was better than the city hospitals. In 2006 Tögsjargal guai established a private hospital and she operates it.
Recently she has been in her homeland and most of the territory has dried up and desertified. Most of the poor people have moved to the city.
Tögsjargal guai’s mother was put out in the open when she died, with her liver turned to the sun and covered with a white cloth.