Interviewee ID: 990276
Parent's name: Galsan
Year of Birth: 1937
Ethnicity: Ard Halh
Notes on education:
Born in: Altanshiree sum, Dornogovi aimag
Lives in: Bayangol 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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repressions; work; education / cultural production; illness / health; belief;
Alternative keywords suggested by readers for this interview are: (Please click on a keyword to see more interviews, if any, on that topic)
journalism; repression; socialism; Soviet-Mongolian friendship; democracy; grandson; religion; public dances;
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To read a full interview with Jamiyan please click on the Interview ID below.
Summary of Interview 090724A with Jamiyan
Jamyan was one of nine children in his family. He was brought up by his mother. His father died when Jamyan was small. After finishing secondary school in Dornogobi he studied at a military school in Ulaanbaatar for a year. When it was decided to close the school, Jamyan entered the Mongolian State University to study the Mongolian language and literature. After graduating from university he took up the job of a journalist. In 1979 he was repressed for writing a supposedly anti-Soviet article. It was not until 1990 that he was pardoned.
Jamyan discusses a broad variety of topics: how he came to study at the Mongolian State University, how he was repressed three times, how he was pardoned after the fall of the socialist regime, about his books, and about how raises money to fund his grandson’s treatment in China. Jamyan has been excluded from the Revolutionary Party three times. The first time he was expelled for writing an article, but was soon reinstated thanks to the intervention of a high-ranking bureaucrat. In 1979, he wrote another article about how three drunken Soviet officers caused a traffic accident by ramming their military truck into a bus full of Mongolian workers. As a result many Mongolians were injured and one young man died. Jamyan’s article, praised by many at the outset, was soon found to be harming Soviet-Mongolian relations. Four journalists, including Jamyan, were expelled from the Party and repressed. Another eighteen journalists, who indirectly participated in the publication of the article, were punished in one way or another. Until his pardon in 1990, Jamyan laboured in a wood processing factory under strict supervision. During that time he was banned from participating in public meetings and writing.
In 1990, he was reinstated to the Revolutionary Party. When the fraction that he supported had split from the Party, he was again excluded, though he wanted to stay in the Party. Jamyan says that he is unique in the sense that he has been excluded from the same Party three times.
Jamyan also discusses the following topics: public dances in the socialist period, which foreign leaders he saw or interviewed during his career, how people treated him when he was denounced by the Party, what changes democracy brought to his life, and whom he worships. Among the foreign leaders that he saw in Mongolia were the president of Kenya, the president of Mali and Ceausescu, the leader of Romania. Jamyan says that when he was repressed, most of his friends and acquaintances turned their backs on him. Even those who sympathised with him could not openly show their feelings. It was not only him who suffered but his wife was also subject to discrimination: she was not allowed to pursue a doctorate degree, could not move about freely, etc. He says that in the socialist period people were not denounced individually, but rather on a group basis. For instance, when Loohuuz and Nyambuu were denounced another two hundred people suffered in one form or another.
Out of about twenty people who were implicated in the ‘Jamyan’s case’, half of them did not live to see democracy and the freedom of speech. After he was pardoned Jamyan went on to work as a journalist for various newspapers. He also gives lectures on journalism at private universities.
Three things that Jamyan worships are Buddhism, the state banner (süld) and his mother. In his youth he was a good dancer. He tells where and how he danced. He was dance champion of Ulaanbaatar three times.