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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education / cultural production; foreign relations; cultural campaigns; collectivization; democracy;
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Summary of Interview 091101B with Damba
In the 1950s the Mongolians still had a nomadic way of life and they slept using their deel as a blanket. It was brought to an end and the people acquired blankets, mattresses, and bed sheets. They ceased making open fire in the fireplace [using stoves with a chimney instead] and they were taught to use underwear. The so-called 'red injection' vaccination was done over a two year period, and venereal diseases eliminated, it was said. The cultural campaigns helped a great deal in making people literate, banishing dirt and bad conditions and becoming healthy.
It was decided by the government that collectivization should be carried out, and everyone joined a collective. Those who didn't join were pressured to do, and it is said that the collectivization movement fully triumphed in 1961. The advantage of socialism was that it had one leadership and the people worked according to one unified policy, and there’s no other way than to think it had been of great help to the development of Mongolia.
The state and the government leaders of that time had a Soviet education, and the majority of the Central Committee and the military chiefs had Russian wives. The only answer to the question ‘what country to follow in order to develop strongly’ was Russia. Therefore we accepted the Cyrillic alphabet. Its advantage was that great numbers of the engineers who worked in the national economic and the physicians had studied in the Soviet Union and they all knew Russian. They used Russian books and consequently there was a rapid development of science and culture.