Interviewee ID: 990294
Parent's name: Pülee
Year of Birth: 1959
Notes on education:
Work: herder, Myangant 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
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childhood; military; collectivization; herding / livestock; family;
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Summary of Interview 090742A with Bavuujav
He was a collective horse herder, now he is the owner of a thousand head of livestock (myangat malchin).
Many relatives and the children of Lamjav guai (see interview 090102; interviewee 990080) gave interviews in our project and one of them is P. Bavuujav. The interviews of the many family relatives of Lamjav guai is an interesting aspect of the 20th century Mongolian oral history study. IIt is very interesting to trace by one family’s developmental history the oral Mongolian history of the socialist period, its end, and the democratic period.
P. Bavuujav is the son of the oldest sister of Lamjav guai. His father Pülee (090740; interviewee 990292) and his mother Myagmarjav guai (090741; interviewee 990293) also gave interviews. He was born in 1959 in Saihan sum, the oldest son of Pülee. There are ten children. He has three years of education. He served in the military for three years. He has raised livestock since his childhood.
After he had learned to ride a horse he started to go to far distant places to pasture the livestock and do other work. When he was small and couldn’t ride horses, he walked on foot to pasture the calves and the lambs. In the evenings he helped to separate the livestock. He grew up doing all the work done by herders’ children.
Since his childhood he had it in mind to become a collective horse herder. The horse herders of the collectives who tended the horses somehow drew his attention and they looked nice to him. In 1981 he joined the collective and became a horse herder. The work of a horse herder was a hard job for the people who tended the collective livestock. He said together with his wife that they tended over 800 collective horses and had a work norm to fulfil of 13 tons of airag.
His wife said when her child grew up and got sick, the doctor asked her, “What kind of diseases did your child have when he was small?” Then she realized she didn’t know anything about her child’s childhood. All her effort was given to the livestock and she was more aware of the horses when they were still foals. The many collective mares had to be milked every two hours in summer time and she used to tie her child to a 40 litre bucket among the mares. The horses circled around the crying baby and they neighed, but didn't come closer, and not stepping over the baby. That’s what the seniors used to say and it was true.
Initially he didn’t understand the processes of the flourishing of democracy and privatization and he had it in mind to follow the crowd. He raised the livestock he got by privatization and he became an owner of a thousand head of livestock. He concluded that the work he had been doing in the collective and the current work in the market economy, that started with the breaking up of the collectives are very different. The work attitude of the people has changed greatly because when tending the collective livestock the herders were worried about not meeting the norms, and they worked ignoring even their own children. But today they are careless, since the livestock are their own. They understood that if they didn't have enough collective livestock, they’d be imprisoned and now they have authority over the livestock. When the livestock reached one thousand head, the losses and the increase of new young animals’ balanced within a year. At that time they were careful when consuming meat, he recalled. Now looking back, he thinks tending the collective livestock was like tending prison livestock, there was not much difference. They scared you with punishments. He understood it was the way of life. Such a mindset was set in his head. Comparing today with the past times, he thinks he was doing prison work. His children have all become herders.
Thanks to democracy and privatization all the conditions for a good life are present if only you have the strength, he said.