Interviewee ID: 990560
Parent's name: Angir
Year of Birth: 1959
Notes on education:
Work: brick factor rate-setter (normchin)
Born in: Harihhiraa sum, Uvs aimag
Lives in: Ulaangom sum (or part of UB), Uvs aimag
Mother's profession: herder
Father's profession: herder
Themes for this interview, suggested by the interview team, are:
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childhood; herding / livestock; work; relations between men and women; family;
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Summary of Interview 100915A with Möngön
A. Möngön is a female worker at a brick factory located in Ulaangom, Uvs aimag. During this interview she narrated a simple story of her life, about how she grew up in a herder family, how she acquired a little education without profession and how she spent all her life working in the construction field. She started herding livestock as early as she can remember. When she was born her mother left her with her parents and went away to marry a man. She didn’t know about her mother. She would help her grandparents and look after goats and sheep. She didn’t like school but was interested in raising livestock. Hence she never studied in school. She never went against her grandparents’ words. They used to instruct and teach her about everything. When she was small she used to play with stones and build a ger from them. As an adult she visited the site again and it was all preserved well. She always felt good to be in countryside, herd cattle, milk the cow and return home with milk. When she was in the countryside she used to examine other girls’ clothes and shoes and often imagined about trying them on. She used to be scared whenever she went herding alone. Her grandmother used to often warn her “Be careful with men”. When her grandparents passed away she moved to Ulaangom to live with her parents as an adopted child. When she married she started working in construction because it was believed that salary is good. When she first joined the brick factory her salary was 100 tögrögs. Since she didn’t understand math she says that she received few packs of 3 tögrög banknotes. She didn’t know how to sign her name at work and didn’t know how to count her money which made her feel very confused. Her best moment of her life was when she joined the brick factory and received her first salary. Even now it was her most memorable moment in her life. Now she can sign her name and learned to count money. Because she always regretted about having no education she didn’t allow her children to abandon their schooling. Only her oldest son left school in fourth grade to start working.
When she was a child there was this terrible thing going on, called cultural campaign that organized raids and during which clean houses would receive a flag and dirty ones would receive a pig badge with a warning to clean their houses. They used to look a lot for fleas. Her grandmother was a very clean lady and she used to bathe her grandchild a lot. There was this white basin in which she used to bathe at home.
Her grandmother used to say, “If you cross your skirt with a man you will get pregnant”. Therefore, I used to think that if I stand close to a man I would get pregnant. After marrying she understood everything. Everything worked out as it should. She # didn’t know she was pregnant with her first child until she was in her fourth month. She bore her child in a country while holding on to a rag. When they got their own place and were married the biggest presents they received were a mirror with a duck and a suitcase. She divorced her first husband after six years of marriage. Then she married another man and lived together for eight years. Because the mother-in-law was a difficult person to handle she divorced.
Around 1990 I visited the Ulaanbaatar city for the first time. I met my real mother only once when I was a child. Therefore, I visited to see my mother once again. Her two siblings passed away during the Nalaih mining accident. Her dream was to meet her mother and she fulfilled it.
There are a lot of changes occurring in weather and environment. When she was small girl “nice grass” used to grow. Now there are no places where such grass grows. Now everything is covered with pebbles and all landscape looks white.