Interviewee ID: 990258
Parent's name: Namjil
Year of Birth: 1960
Notes on education: teacher
Born in: [None Given] sum, Zavhan aimag
Lives in: [None Given] sum (or part of UB), Ulaanbaatar aimag
Mother's profession: assistant doctor, retired
Father's profession: photographer, died
Themes for this interview, suggested by the interview team, are:
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education / cultural production; democracy; privatization; cultural campaigns; work;
Alternative keywords suggested by readers for this interview are: (Please click on a keyword to see more interviews, if any, on that topic)
parents; collectivization; cultural campaigns; socialism; market economy; democracy;
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Summary of Interview 090713A with Mönhtör
Mӧnhtӧr was born in 1960 in Zavhan aimag, but spent all his live in Ulaanbaatar, except for four years that he worked in South Korea. He is the oldest of five children in his family. After finishing secondary school, he worked as a stoker for seven years. From 1984 to 1989 he studied at the National University of Mongolia, after which worked as a teacher of Mongolian language and literature for a year. From 1990 to 1995 he ran a private printing company, and then in 1997 went to South Korea to work.
In his interview Mӧnhtӧr tells, among other things, about his childhood, his parents, and the cultural campaigns. In his view, today’s achievement in health, education and culture are all the results of the cultural campaigns. He also explains how society benefited from collectivization. According to him, collective farms prevented herders from impoverishment inflicted by natural disasters such as the zud. In contrast, the traditional livestock breeding, that was egoistic and individualistic, did not offer any back-up based on collective support. Although socialism was a closed society (people could not travel abroad and were not free to say what they wanted), it was a happy time. People were relaxed and more humane. Even the relationship between superiors and their inferiors was based on humane principles. In contrast, in the market economy people lost their humanity and a sense of responsibility. Today, if you do not have money you can get neither higher education nor adequate health service nor a job. Mӧnhtӧr says that people are too preoccupied with money, which renders society gloomy, corrupt and money-oriented. No wonder that ordinary workers did not benefit from the privatization.
Mӧnhtӧr thinks that both socialism and market economy have positive as well as negative sides. But what worries him about today’s society is that democracy is going in the wrong direction