Interviewee ID: 990431
Parent's name: Baldan
Year of Birth: 1942
Notes on education:
Born in: Choibalsan sum, Dornod aimag
Lives in: Sühbaatar sum (or part of UB), Ulaanbaatar aimag
Mother's profession: herder
Father's profession: herder
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education / cultural production; work; new technologies; foreign relations; environment;
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childhood; schoolchildren's life; secondary school; children's upbringing; student life (in the Soviet Union); technical knowledge; movies; plays; nature and environment;
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To read a full interview with Byambaa please click on the Interview ID below.
Summary of Interview 090831A with Byambaa
I was born in 1942. I attended the organizational class of the agricultural school and worked as a technician in the Ministry of Agriculture. Then in 1964 I went voluntarily to serve the army and was there for two years before I attended military school in the Soviet Union, where I studied for six years. After graduation I worked until I retired.
The children of our time went to school when they were eight. In 1951 when I entered the elementary school of Choibalsan sum, the school had around a dozen children and it was a small white building. The schoolchildren had handmade cotton bags, and the boys had blue and the girls had green deels to go to school. There was no electricity therefore we did our studies in the evening by a fat-fueled lamp. We lacked notebooks and books. We rode horses to the school and few children lived in the dormitory. At evening hours, we all gathered at the sound of a shell or a trumpet. In winter of 1952 when we gathered at the sound of a shell trumpet, the teachers were crying that Marshal Choibalsan had died.
At that time mostly those who had graduated the fourth or seventh grades used to teach. When I went to the fifth grade in the Dornod aimag secondary school, there were many schoolchildren and there were enough notebooks and the textbooks in contrast to the sum, and there were many teachers with higher and secondary education. In1958, upon completing the eighth grade I entered the organizational class of the agricultural school of Dornod aimag. Our school trained people of the 18 aimags in six different agricultural specialties. The students’ age differed a lot. The moment I graduated from the school I went to work at the Ministry of Agriculture, for the Soviet and Mongolian ‘land organization’ expedition. (The exact purpose of the expedition was not given.)
After demobilization I took exams for entering school and, having passed my exams, I had studied for six years in the Soviet Union. In the Soviet Union when I had been studying in the military armament and technical engineering school we mostly studied the different kinds of world armaments, and what we could do [about them]. We visited large metallurgical plants and studied the composition of the steel, but we didn’t have such practical lessons such as asembling the weapons. Our dissertations weren’t handed back to us, but instead kept in a secret library. My thesis had been on missile armaments or invention of a short-range missile. There was no chance to develop it further and produce it in our country. Our country imitated the Soviets in training highly educated specialists, but in reality after graduation the profession was not useful. The Soviet and Mongolian relations were good then and they warmly welcomed the Mongolians. Because it was a military school, everything was provided for by the state and we paid only for our meals. In 1970 I became a free-wrestling master of the Soviet Union and I used to participate in the sports competitions.
I was a child full of dreams. In 1965 I wrote my opinion to Tsedenbal darga. “Science and technology are being greatly developed in our great northern neighbor the Soviet Union, and they reach great achievements in the field of analyzing the cosmic secrets. I hope we’ll have a joint flight of our socialist countries’ team in the near future. Could we get prepared from now on? If we do so, I would never regret dedicating my life for the good of our nation and the people.” So I wrote, and three months later, I received an official letter with the signature of Tsedenbal darga and the seal of the Central Committee, “I have been read your letter. This is a desire of the young people of all the socialist countries. You have a proper goal. Unfortunately, such things can not yet be organized in our country. Therefore, you should study well both politics and battle training and be an example to the others and become a solid citizen with culture, education, high qualification and a solid faith.” Then, the next year I went to the Soviet Union to study.