Interviewee ID: 990510
Parent's name: Chimeddoo
Year of Birth: 1934
Notes on education:
Born in: Bayan-Ovoo sum, Bayanhongor aimag
Lives in: Bayanhongor sum (or part of UB), Bayanhongor aimag
Mother's profession: herder
Father's profession: herder
Themes for this interview, suggested by the interview team, are:
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work; repressions; education / cultural production; foreign relations; travel;
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5 year plan; mining; technical knowledge; Russians; belief; repression; childhood; schoolchildren's life; cultural campaigns; work - labor;
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Summary of Interview 091210A with Onomtseren
Onomtseren was born in 1934 in Botgoni Tsagaan, Bayan-Ovoo sum, Bayanhongor aimag. His parents are herders, his dad died when he was litle. The relatives of his dad were all lamas who resided in a monastery and who did readings of prayers. He worked in the Tsenhar Mandal mine from 1953 until 1956, when it was shut down, and from 1957 till 1963 he had worked in the geology sector. He came to Bayankhongor when 5 geology expeditions were organised.
At that time there was no requirement to be literate. Those who wished went and learned and those who didn’t, didn't. The classes were taught in a comprehensible way. Though I had quit the school after the third grade, it seems I have some knowledge that is suitable for me. I studied well and I had been awarded with a rare notebook and a pen. I had a cloth bag with a hand sewn star on it. The school building was a ger and a barn-like mud house. Instead of destroying the monasteries and temples at that time, it would have been possible to use them as school buildings, I think, but who knows.
In 1950, the first five-year plan meant to that you had to pay a tax per head of livestock for the first time, in the form of meat, wool and cashmere. Those who failed to pay could be imprisoned.
My dad’s elder brother had been repressed. He was a lama. His younger brother Legtseg was also a lama, and he survived by fleeing. There had been skilled lamas who translated the sutras from the Tibetan. I think it was a wrong thing to eliminate the lamas.