Interviewee ID: 990558
Parent's name: Saindüüren
Year of Birth: 1952
Education: tusgai dund
Notes on education: accountant
Born in: Böhmörön sum, Uvs aimag
Lives in: Böhmörön sum (or part of UB), Uvs aimag
Mother's profession: negdel agent (üilchlegch)
Father's profession: bank manager (erhlegch)
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work; education / cultural production; privatization; family; childhood;
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Summary of Interview 100913A with Ariya
In this conversation S. Ariya gives account of her life in a negdel (agricultural collective) in the socialist period of the 1970s and 80s during which she served as the negdel’s accountant. She was born in 1952 in Böhmörön sum, Uvs aimag as the oldest daughter in a family of 8 children. As she narrates, being a first born child and a female she had the responsibility from an early age on to look after her family and along with her parents, discipline her younger siblings. Like most children who assumed responsibility from early age and tend to do well at school, she did well in her studies too. Perhaps now it is too much responsibility for a child to take care of household chores and to assist their parents. When she was in secondary school the pedagogical methods of the teachers were superior compared to what there is now. At that time the only thing that mattered was “to study well oneself” but now it’s different. After finishing her eight year secondary school she entered economic college. She relates how interesting it was for a country girl to become a college student and for the first time in her life to fly in an airplane to the city. Upon graduation she returned to her sum to work as a sales person for 6 months before she got a position as an accountant. She worked as an accountant until her retirement. During her professional years she maintained a very busy lifestyle built to serve day and night her work, negdel, and society while raising her children. We used to leave early in the morning to return late at night, she said. Back in those days children from an educated upbringing had greater capacity for independence. Nothing to worry about since our children would be entrusted to the care of kindergartens and day care. The kindergarten and day care professionals were very reliable and worked with real dedication to their work. In those days the level of monitoring and inspections were high. Though administrators would often have only a 4 year secondary education, they still were very capable and maintained a superior ethical approach in managing people.
In her opinion women’s position in society was lower. Due to frequent business trips to the countryside she maintained a close participation in and knowledge about their everyday life. I think herder women would often imagine themselves as no more than a “cook of the household”. When I would travel to countryside to gather information on livestock they would often respond “I don’t know, my husband only knows” and refuse to give answers, she said. Therefore, I would leave my children behind during the night, visit the herder families and gather information from the husbands. Nowadays, it is accepted that men and women have equal rights. I feel sensitive about the fact that in recent years herders are encouraging their male children to abandon school in favor of herding because the number of private livestock are increasing. She thinks that these children need to have basic knowledge about where and at what price they can sell their products in the market and at what cost they can cover their living costs. Hence, she undertook the job of explaining it to country people. In the socialist days the state maintained a policy of increasing the population. Families with many children would receive incentives. Now, Mongolia is preparing human resources without any planning. Mongolia is rich with mineral resources. If Mongolia does not make an investment in education and the preparation of professionals a priority we will end up losing all our natural resources. Nature is undergoing major changes. Small clouds are now enough to make the weather chilly. When sun comes out it becomes hot. If we make public education free and disperse the universities throughout the country the current migration process will decrease. Her father-in-law fought in the battle of Halhyn Gol in 1939 and served five years in the military. Thanks to the democracy everything opened up. Mongolians are gaining recognition in the world. She said that this is something she felt proud of.