Interviewee ID: 990385
Parent's name: Dorj
Year of Birth: 1941
Notes on education:
Work: retired, Mongolian language teacher / researcher
Born in: Taragt sum, Övörhangai aimag
Lives in: Bayangol sum (or part of UB), Ulaanbaatar aimag
Mother's profession: herder
Father's profession: herder
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childhood; education / cultural production; literature; repressions; belief;
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Summary of Interview 091101A with Damba
Dorjiin Damba was born in 1942 in Taragt sum in Övörhangai. He graduated from the historical and philosophy faculty of the University, where he trained as a Mongolian language and literature teacher. He has worked as a research worker at the Institute of Philology, the headmaster of a religious school and from 1991 has been working as a teacher at the National University of Mongolia.
During the socialist period, there was a flourishing atmosphere of world-wide peace among the socialist countries. In 1969 Hamba Gombojav guai and the Buryat Hamba Gomboyev guai went to Moscow to participate in a meeting there, and they greatly supported the call to respect the friendly co-existence of the Asian Buddhist religions. As it is noted in the books, the history of the Mongolian Buddhist religion is divided into three stages. In 1970 the Party Central Committee issued a special decree, and a young generation of successors to the old lamas began to be trained in a newly established religious school. The Buriad and Kalmyk lamas came to study. During the socialist period there used to be great atheist propaganda both in the Soviet Union and in our country. When we were small it was prohibited to openly display Buddhas in the ails, therefore we used to put them and sutras on the top of a mountain. Families used to put images of Buddha on the back of picture frames.
Damba had heard about the repressions from the old lamas. It is written in various ways in the history books. In some places it is written that religion is brutal and it fools people and that it was the state policy of that time to wipe out the monasteries. And in some places it blamed them for the fact that many lamas had been imprisoned and exterminated.