Interviewee ID: 990446
Parent's name: Gotov
Year of Birth: 1943
Notes on education: Russian language and lit. teacher
Work: Director, State Central Library
Born in: Matad sum, Dornod aimag
Lives in: Sühbaatar sum (or part of UB), Ulaanbaatar aimag
Mother's profession: housewife
Father's profession: primary school teacher
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belief; authority; urban issues; funerals; democracy;
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Summary of Interview 091102B with Akim
It was a time when the Marxists, the atheists of that period, themselves ran to the lamas with hadags in their hands but we were prohibited to do so. If a slightly famous person, who had been registered visited Gandan, he would be placed on the lists of the Internal Ministry (Dotood yam – the secret police). Though the major lamas had been repressed, their disciples still remained and they used to read the sutras and do the rituals. With the rise of democracy in 1990 the Union of the Believers was founded. I wrote a letter to the Dalai Lama in1990 saying that the resurgence of religion in Mongolia should mean reading religious books in our own Mongolian language [as opposed to Tibetan]. The Dalai Lama said this was possible, but it has not still happened.
The relations between bosses and military of the socialist period were very different. Under socialism, people with authority were very important. For example, the members of the Political Bureau all lived in the houses in the valley in mountain to the south [of Ulaanbaatar]. The ministers and the deputy ministers had a special store that served only them while the people queued to get bread and meat. We have never thought that socialism would end. It is only thanks to democracy that we can talk freely and become acquainted with development. We are proud of democracy.
Concerning philosophy, we use the principle of complementary opposites [lit: 'method and wisdom']. Especially in Mongolia these two should go hand in hand.
During the socialist period, we were moving toward what is called urbanization. If we look back to the 1960s the city population was low. Today, urbanization went too far and Ulaanbaatar can't cope with it. Although we talk about urbanization, there are the drivers who haven't got accustomed to the culture and they drive here and there just like riding a horse. But they do not hurry to finish their work in the same way that they would gallop about on horses.