Interviewee ID: 990291
Parent's name: Dondov
Year of Birth: 1945
Notes on education: history teacher
Work: retired, herder
Born in: Saihan sum, Bulgan aimag
Lives in: Saihan sum (or part of UB), Bulgan aimag
Mother's profession: herder
Father's profession: herder
Themes for this interview, suggested by the interview team, are:
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military; herding / livestock; collectivization; keepsakes / material culture; democracy;
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To read a full interview with Namhai please click on the Interview ID below.
Summary of Interview 090739B with Namhai
An old man, a former horse herder, teacher, and the mayor of Saihan sum of Bulgan aimag
In the second part of his interview he talked about quitting secondary school and going to the countryside. There he worked as a traveling teacher. The old people should think of getting educated and have serious attitude about it, but those who were to study had no other future than to tend their livestock for the collective. There was no other job there. They thought that literacy wasn’t necessary. There used to be literacy group training and some of them had been through with it but they never learned it. They believed it wasn’t necessary for them and it was useless to teach such people therefore he submitted a petition letter to the collective administration and he changed his work to become a horse herder.
He talked about how he used to fulfill the planning norms, once he became a collective horse herder, how he sold the airag and dairy products, the first time he sold airag and milk at the market, what the relations were like between the collective management and the subordinates, as well as the herders’ life. He emphasized the work of tending the cooperative livestock was work you could be penalized for. He was a cultured herder who subscribed to newspapers. He hated the wrong doings of the bosses and he criticized them. As a result he was persecuted in various ways. When he tended the collective's livestock he didn’t work poorly. He lived and worked well but his wife had desire to study at the Institute and the fact of graduating was a very big change in his life, he said.
There had been a possibility to implement the democratic process in Mongolia correctly. He regrets that bribery and corruption was growing these days. The value of democracy is freedom, the freedom of speech. He told what a precious thing was to speak freely and he said he had sensed what a nice thing it was, the freedom to speak out.
His snuff box is a memorable thing for him. He told a very extensive story about his ‘usan siizen’ snuff bottle. His ‘usan siizen’ snuff bottle is an amazing and wonderful thing that was written about in the history of Mongolia, he said. A person named Shijee brought it in the middle of 19th century. The torn case of the snuff box has been preserved as well. There are four elephants and four lions stitched with golden thread at the four corners on both sides of it. This snuff bottle is the classical form of a snuff bottle, he said.
He praises only one thing of the socialist period and that was the education system and the case of destroying the primitive religious education and instead laying the foundation of the modern European education. He also compared the present day and former school education systems and teaching.