Interviewee ID: 990180
Parent's name: Turkstan
Year of Birth: 1950
Notes on education: büren dund
Work: Academy of Science, geography institute
Born in: Ulgan sum, Hovd aimag
Lives in: Bayanzürh sum (or part of UB), Ulaanbaatar aimag
Mother's profession: Herder, died
Father's profession: herder, died
Themes for this interview, suggested by the interview team, are:
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democracy; privatization; travel; work; environment;
Alternative keywords suggested by readers for this interview are: (Please click on a keyword to see more interviews, if any, on that topic)
socialism; democracy; Kazakh culture; eagle hunting; privatization;
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To read a full interview with Elshan please click on the Interview ID below.
Summary of Interview 090501A with Elshan
The interviewee was born in 1950 in Bulgan sum of Hovd aimag. He is the oldest of ten children in his family. He is Kazakh by nationality. He is married and has four children. After finishing secondary school in 1969 in Bulgan sum, the interviewee worked as a tractor driver in Shaamar sum of Selenge aimag. From there he moved to Ulaanbaatar in 1974 with a view to provide his ailing father with health care. When his father passed away, he went to work in ‘Arhustain’ state farm, and returned to Ulaanbaatar again in 1986 when his wife, after surviving a traffic accident, needed a treatment. Since 1989 he has been working at the Institute of Geology in Ulaanbaatar. At the time of the interview he was a receptionist there.
The interviewee tells about many things, including what he thinks of socialism, democracy, Kazakh culture, eagle hunting, etc. For him, socialism was a good time, not least because he was looked after by his parents, who were both herders, until his late teens. Like most people around him, in his adult life he had enough salary to support his family. In his view, democracy has both positive and negative sides. Positive sides are: People became free to travel abroad and engage in commerce, all apartments have been privatized, and livestock was given to the herders. Negative sides are: the solidarity among people became weaker, rape and theft are spreading, foreigners bring with themselves all sorts of the hitherto unheard diseases, it becomes more and more difficult to purchase basic food and clothes, politicians became quarrelsome, and corruption became endemic. He argues that it is impossible to eradicate corruption unless all people become equal. Also, controlling people in the way the state had controlled in the socialist period is not a bad thing at all, for control brings order and makes people respect each other. The interviewee thinks that he did not benefit from the privatization. As a receptionist he has a low salary and struggles to make ends meet.
The interviewee has been twice to Kazakhstan, which he describes as a nice place to live. According to him, thirty to forty thousand Kazakhs have already left Mongolia for Kazakhstan in search of jobs.