Interviewee ID: 990367
Parent's name: Nyamaa
Year of Birth: 1964
Notes on education: büren dund
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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relations between men and women; herding / livestock; travel; work; authority;
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Summary of Interview 090769B with Oyunsüren
This interview began by talking about the social status of women. According to what Oyunsüren egch said, the women of the socialist period raised their livestock even if they reached the age of sixty and they couldn’t even go to sanatoriums because they were afraid the collective work would be left unlooked-after. But now everything is free and you can go to any place to have a rest. Concerning the clothes, they used to stand in a queue for a long time to get footwear that cost 45 tögrögs and silk for 95 tögrögs. The public service made clothes but they were all of one design. The work and labor issue was tough compared to the present day. From June to October they milked the mares the whole day through in the sun. A man who had cows had milk norms and he worked according to it.
The mothers worked a lot but they had no possessions of their own, they distributed all their belongings to their children. But in their homeland the traditional conception of a woman as a household slave and a man’s servant had been slightly moderated in the socialist time. But the women with a sharp character who expressed their views freely weren’t accepted with favor. Such an attitude could be observed. Even when their children married, sons received more of an inheritance.
Concerning the state policy on women, the women herders were granted the right to have rest for 14 days prior to their delivery of children. There was a children’s allowance and later the women have been granted two years of paid leave. Before that, they used to go to work 45 days after having their children at the hospital.
It has been observed that the people seemed to have lost their intellectual value since democracy. The children’s upbringing has become different. The countryside schooling lags behind and discriminating against children has a backward affect on their minds. There’s a great burden on six year old children who start living in the dormitory. Also, it is a very important issue to educate mainly girls. The boys mostly don’t study and the majority of them go to the countryside, and the ‘ails’ separate some livestock from their herd to give them to the children who are in the countryside thus preparing their own replacement. In fact, the herder’s work is very hard and it has no break. The cattle price always fluctuates therefore it is tough.
The people during socialism were very faithful to their work. There was a system of criticizing if the work wasn’t done well and encouraging if it was done well. The workers treated their dargas with great respect. The dargas had clean clothes and the children played imitating dargas. There was a person who had quarreled with his darga and then he started herding horses although he was a driver.
The environment and the weather have become very dry and there are cases of changing the names of the rivers and the mountains. The name of a hill of their homeland has been changed into a nickname of one old man Zantgar.