Interviewee ID: 990901
Parent's name: [blank]
Year of Birth: 1928
Notes on education:
Born in: Tüdevtei sum, Zavhan aimag
Lives in: sum (or part of UB), Ulaanbaatar aimag
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So, I’m grateful that you are participating in the
joint project by the Cambridge University, UK and the
International Association for Mongol Studies, “Oral
history”. So, there are several issues I need to ask you and
agree on before we proceed with our interview. First,
everything you say will be recorded on an audio tape and
kept in writing; after that copies will be made and archived
at Cambridge and in Mongolia. This interview will be a
resource for researchers and the material will be
broadcasted through mass media and published as a book.
Therefore, would you allow us to use the interview for those
Yes, I would.
OK. And there is one more issue. Would you keep you
name anonymous or not?
There is no point in doing that.
Well, let’s start our interview. Why don’t you start
from your recollections of your childhood, things that you
miss now? Please, be open and frank.
Ok. I was born in 1928 in Hilen Sartuul hoshuu of
Hantaishir aimag, currently Tudevtei soum of Zavhan aimag in
a family of herdsman Baljinnyam, as his third son. Since
childhood I grew in the care of my parents, hm, was taking
care of the livestock, was rather playing with calves, lams
and baby goats. A kid of an ordinary herdsman. My story does
not differ from those of that time, the same as any story of
any kid. From 1 to 7 years of age I grew in the care of
parents, when I was 6 I became a pupil of Sodov, a renowned
lama of that time in Galuut huree. I was there for about a
year to study Tibetan. Learning Tibetan… during my learning
Tibetan… when I was learning Tibetan… the Mongolian name is
one and when you read, read books or something they turn and
that’s why I didn’t learn Tibetan language or script. Then
one day I told the teacher. What I said is “I will never
learn the Tibetan. You teach me to pronounce them in
Mongolian as one thing. But when reading you teach me
different. And since you teach a different pronunciation, I
can not learn,” and also said “I quit,” and quit. After
that, there were two taij [trans: taij is a nobleman],
Gegdorj and Dashhuu, one of them, taij Dashhuu used to be
our neighbour during summer and taij Gegdorj – our neighbour
in gobi during winter. These were the two taijs. One of them
taught me Mongolian script, i.e. old Mongolian script and
four arithmetical functions during winter. While the other
taught me the same Mongolian script and arithmetic’s during
summer, this way I learnt reading and writing in Mongolian
script when I was 8. These two were truly good, masters of
Mongolian script of that time. Thanks to their efforts I
learnt my old Mongolian language. My homeland, is considered
to be the coldest in Mongolia, in our hoshuu, in hangai it
is impossible to stay in winter. Because it is cold. Lots of
snow, too. That’s why people somehow find transportation and
move to gobi. Then gobi is all right, if the winter is mild,
we move to Bayanhairga. Some difficult years we move down to
Bayanhongor aimag, i.e. nowadays Bayanhongor aimag, its
northern part, move almost 200 kms to spend a winter. What
this means is that to take care of the livestock, to protect
animal from hunger, this is the purpose of moving. Then
starting from March in the spring move back to Hangai. When
moving, we make around 10 – 20 kms a day and then break a
stop. Spend there 2-3 days, then move to the next stop.
Moving in this way, we come to a place on the border of
Hangai and Gobi where the new baby animals are born. The
same place we also castrate the male animal. What this means
is when we come to hangai later it saves from flies and
worms that’s why we castrate adult and baby sheep and goats,
after that in the end of May and beginning of June we come
to Hangai and go to summer place, this is the way we go.
Going to Hangai we come just with this very things. The way
for summer. What this means is that clothes and warm cover
layers for a ger that we used during winter are left in
zoovor in gobi. What zoovor is a hole dug in the ground or a
ravine in a rock where we bury boots, deel and other clothes
that were used during a winter, i.e. we come out light. When
come to Hangai, we dig out things for summer such as summer
clothes, milking utensils from Hangain zoovor and then we
are settled for Hangai. What we do after coming to Hangai
is, what is a job for us kids is to pasture lam and calves,
pasture sheep, here in Hangai we settle in a “khot ail” of
7-8 gers of mostly relatives or good acquaintances. So, we
make a khot ail to join the herds and to jointly shepherd
them. We take care and protect the herds. Also, there is a
herd shift, every ail (family) has a herd shift. In 7-8 days
you have your shift. You take the herd of sheep to pasture.
Well, [gets excited and the voice raises] during the
off-shift days what we do is we help the family, help mom
and dad. Fetch water. Wood, well, go to mountain to collect
and bring wood (for fire). Clean the stalls. Also pile
animal shit and prepare dugs for fence filling (used like a
mud to fill the space between fence logs). This goes on
until September and by tenth of September we move to gobi.
Because it snows and the cold starts in our land around 5th
of or early September. Then the moving goes on, her, and we
settle for a fall in a place on the border of Hangai and
Gobi. We settle for the fall and stay there for a while and
then when winter comes, in the midst of winter we come to
gobi, we move and come there.
During winter, in a winter place there are 2 or 3
ails (families) only. 2 or 3 ails, all the same, turn shifts
to pasture sheep and herds. There we also have sheep shifts.
During winter, ok, her, take turns to pasture the sheep. It
is difficult in winter. It’s harsh. Real harsh. Then what we
can do then. It’s us to go after sheep. It’s us to pasture
the sheep. In the mornings we take the sheep to the pasture.
Our family used to have a dog. Each family used to have a
dog. Our dog was one, he was a great guard, a great hunter
dog. I used to take him with me, he would wake up and about
a time of a sun rise he would go around the stall and bark
one, two, three times. Then the sheep get up on their feet.
And pee. Then me the guy or my mom would give a meal to the
dog… When the dog is fed, me also eat my breakfast, put some
eezgii (fried curd) and a small round ball of white butter
wrapped in a newspaper into the chest pocket (in the front
of a dehl). You take a stick and go after the sheep. And you
take the sheep some (sighs) 10 kms far from home. In the
evening at a dusk you bring the sheep to the stall. The dog
leads the sheep, you go behind the sheep – this is the way
we come home. This was the job we did. This is the silly
thing. Well, there are not much fun. I will tell you
something that happened in my childhood that I never forget.
You ask what. Our family. (mm) It takes seven to eight times
of moving until we come to hangai from winter place in gobi.
As I said before, what we did on the way is castrate the
animal. Only after this castration we come to hangai. On the
way our family assembled the gher on a slope of a small
mountain called “Wild White Mount” on the border of gobi and
hangai. It was about 30 kms till hangai. Thirty kms is a
rather long way for one move. I herd the sheep, while my
parents go far ahead following the load of the gher, just
like the other families and herding the cattle of cows. I
together with the dog herd the sheep slowly, slowly-slowly
so, as prescribed by custom. I was probably in the middle of
the way when it got dark. That was time when days are quite
long. That’s what the time was, early June. I was following
the sheep when the night fell. Right on my way there is a
big ditch called “Ditch of Yellow Ridges.” The slopes are
very steep. No way any animal can get in from the upper
edge. Only on the right side there is a way to enter. Yeah.
So, at night with the dog we went around the sheep to make
then to the ditch. I went around from the right and led the
sheep to the ditch and stalled them in the inner end of the
ditch. But at that end there was a little pond of water.
Maybe it was a tiny spring. The dog and me shared some water
from the spring. There were also some cookies with me in my
chest pocket. I shared them with the dog. Then the dog and I
settled at the other end of the herd close to the ditch
entrance but both have fallen asleep. When I woke up the sun
was up. The dog, apparently awake since early morning, went
away barking. I got up and the sun was high up. Then we took
the herd out from the ditch and got on the road further when
a horseman apparently sent by my people and the neighbours
came. So we went on and came home around 4 o’clock in the
afternoon. Only then the both of us ate and treated our
hunger, that was our way.
What I’m trying to say by this is that a dog in any
Mongolian family then is a herdsman. That’s what the dog
was. Our dog had a white heart, and the end of the tail was
also white. It was a black dog. He never got attached to
anyone. It went on like this, i.e. I was herding in the
countryside until 1939. In countryside people take care of
the livestock jointly, everyone from any family in the khot
ail used to be involved.
My family was not a well off one with big herds of
animals. But we were not poor either. We had around 25-30
sheep and goats. Sartuuls, they don’t usually have ordinary
Mongolian cows. All yaks. There were around 23-24 yaks of
all age and sex. From among them, there were 13-14 cows for
milking. Those families with many herds, with many sheep and
goats usually gave a holboo, a rope full (a rope on which
approximately certain number of sheep can be tied together)
of sheep for milking to a family with a little herd during
summer. They milk and take the milk. But when in July the
wool loosens, we cut the wool and bring to the owner. As a
fee the owner gives us one, or two or three sacks of wool.
What my family did with the wool is we collect them for one
or two or three years and make a felt cover for the gher. So
with the support of each other people herd the livestocks,
milk and collect other things, that is how we used to be.
People used to be so helping, had such a nice attitude in
the whole khot ail.
Well, khot ail in summer and winter would have two
or three, or seven or eight ghers. Nowadays people talk
about khot ail, that khot ail is formed in this and that
ways. It’s not like khot ail is formed only recently.
Mongolian people used to live in khot ails through its
entire history, for many centuries, cooperating, living
together to raise the animal in cooperation, this is our
history. But nowadays some historians, some politicians talk
as if it is only now that they created khot ail. That is not
Mongolians fit their natural environment, they are
products of the nature. The animal are also products of this
nature and that’s why they understood the use of such
cooperation and lived and cooperated on the basis of khot
ail, this is what I must specifically mention at this point.
Well, what was that… the story. With the nature
Mongolian people, hm… used to care for the nature, to
benefit from the nature, to protect the wild life and to
benefit from the wild life. That is they used to worship the
nature and to benefit from the nature. At the same time,
they protected the nature. Benefit from the wild life while
protecting the wild life. If you ask based on what I’m
saying this, then the people themselves, Mongolian people
are products of the nature. This covers everything in the
nature on the Mongolian territory, animal, wild life,
including wolves. The latter is also a product of the
Mongolian nature. We call wolves as animal enemies. Yeah,
they prey on livestock. Prey on wild animal too. The same is
with men. They breed livestock, raise cattle, prey on
animal, eat livestock. This is something that has to happen.
But we should not be too biased. Because wolves like people
are also products of the nature. A wolf also has to live.
Has a right to live. Has a fate to live. What it has to live
on is, just like people, it has to prey on animal. Prey on
the wild life. People are like them. Moreover, people are
worse than animal. Sometimes. By hundreds of them.
Especially now, from remote places people load hundreds of
them on trucks, bring them here, and sell to people from the
capital during celebrations and holidays. Those people kill
and eat thousands of livestock. Not only that, in a few days
they catch sheep and kill and eat sheep again. In our times
it was not like this. Then we used to protect animal. We
used to use them too. With the same token, wolves also have
to eat that animal. People should be living on the
livestock. This is something not quite. Mongolian people are
very clever, a great nation. What I am going to prove this
with, is that they process skin and leather from the
livestock and make boots and clothes from that processed
skin. They themselves dress the skin. That’s what was the
time. There is no pair in the world to the Mongolian
technology of processing skin and leather, that’s what the
technology is. What technology was it, is that (we used
substances - BO) not only of animal origin… We use raw
materials of natural origin to treat (alkaline or acidify)
the skin, then to soften, to make it velvety, to …
(хянгардаад), to … (хэдрэгдээд), that is how we process it.
This technology does not exist anywhere else. What they do
in modern times to process it faster is they use chemical
substances. This use of chemical substances in great amounts
fastens the skin processing, true. This is a positive side.
On the other hand, this is very harmful to the nature. After
processing the skin, there is no other way than dispose
chemical products. None other. This has very harmful impact
on the nature. On the nature as well as to people, to
livestock, to wild life even, very harmful, this technology.
Whereas, the technology invented by Mongolians themselves
does not have any damaging effect on the nature. That’s what
our technology is. As for the technology for processing
skin, the same is with wool processing, by Mongolian
technology we wash wool with salt, that’s how we use it.
Then we also make felt. Felt… We make rugs of the produced
felt. We cover ghers with it. Cover ghers. Make cushion for
saddles. That’s how we used to process.
The other issue is protection of the nature.
Mongolians are.. Truly protected the nature and treated is
very carefully, that is our custom. For instance, when
Mongolians go to mountains, they didn’t used to cut young
trees. Always use fallen branches of those trees or rotten
trees for firewood. This is one specifics of ours.
The other specifics are herdsmen in countryside only
collect wood on lasso. This has its own reasoning. You don’t
just go and cut. There is something called Dulchin’s saa…,
well… Dulchin’s grey dirt. You come to the place and then …
You explain the purpose of getting the wood. Something like
asking a permission to cut a tree…, asking not to be angry.
To show your worship for the nature you toss the Dulchin’s
saa around the place. And then you cut the tree in one or
two swings. Then this is how you spray the Dulchin’s saa on
the remaining stump, then you take the wood, cut off the
branches and lay them on the spot, and then take the wood
and leave. There was no way to take more trees, no way to
take it otherwise.
During the summer, there used to no such thing as
hunting. In the fall it’s ok, something like one deer or one
antelope, that is only one piece at a time of a need. There
was no such thing like in more numbers, never in two or
three. When hunting marmot, we didn’t used to hunt them in
hundreds as they do now. Always one or two. Two or three at
the most. No killing by shooting. Only traps. Then we cook
and eat it. That was it. Not like nowadays, like people now
riding huge and strong vehicles and shooting fast rifles to
kill tens, twenties, thirties and forties. Recently it was
written in a newspaper. That about hundred of wolves were
killed. No one kills wolves like that. Wolves are never easy
to find. Well,… But since wolves are also products of the
nature, their balance their own number by the laws of the
nature. That’s why it is very rare that they grow in
numbers. That’s what used to be.
Then in 1939 I came to Ulaanbaatar and my mom and
dad… I came to Ulaanbaatar with my parents, and in 1940
entered the school #5 in Ulaanbaatar…, there used to be
primary school #10. there I went to the first grade.
So, you said earlier that you had a dog.
Would you please tell me more about the dog,
anything you can remember?
That dog was in 1937... our was on a position of
fire keeper, typist, and messenger at the Tudevtei soum
administrator’s office. So, found a little puppy at that
time. So when we went to the soum administrator’s office,
soum center once a month to get our supply of flour and
rice, our father was taking care of that cute, black puppy.
Old. It was brought home. And we brought it home and … we
had it as a pet. It was an absolutely cute puppy. When the
puppy was little, my little brother and I used to sleep with
it. So one year passed. The dog was a huge one. A real
Mongolian Bankhar. “Taigan khaltar” was its name. It was a
black dog with black tail and white face. It was never
friendly to people. It was friendly to livestock. That is
how it was. Then in 1938. In the winter of 39 we were at our
winter camp … and we were preparing our winter food supply.
We had a neighbour called Batjav. The dog was not friendly,
so he gave it poison. At that we were not aware of that. One
morning we got up and saw it. Our dog was standing at the
door cold, shivering, and crying. That’s how it was. We
wondered what happened but it was cold and shivering. So our
dog died of poisoning. Then we according to Mongolian custom
… Father and I cut of the tail and incised its four paws and
… To discharge the poison we made incisions and had it
bleed. It was just to cure. It used to work. But this time
it was too much. It was over…. It was overdosed. So it died.
So the two of us there was a little knoll to the south of
our winter camp. Over the knoll there was a khamar –
nose-like hill, Mongolians call it that way. A grassy,
bloated hill. We put the dog on the hill and buried it under
Mongolian custom. That’s how I remember it was buried. And I
visited my birthplace in 1989. And I visited our camps,
winter, spring, summer, and autumn camps. Then all of a
sudden I remembered my dog. When I came to the place where
we buried it to the south of our winter camp, its skeleton
was all in place. And I cried a lot. It was such a nice dog.
My dog was so cute and so good. Mongolians call such dogs
“Taigan khaltar.” We shared with our dog … share our food.
We shared yoghourt with the dog. We shared curds with the
dog. Clean. We played with it. We tied its legs. We tied its
head and mouth. And children … (with agitated vioce) Like
the children of that time, we played with the dog and were
always together with our dog. We didn’t have toys like they
have now. As for toys, we used to play with mountain rocks
making gers. And we used horse dung … um … we used horse
dung as horses and count them. That’s how we used to play. I
always feel sorry for the dog. Even now I can see it in my
mind. (took a long breathe.) That’s how it was. What else
can I talk about?
My childhood was like this … um … my childhood until
1940, 40s, my childhood was spent like that until 39. At
that time Buddhism was banned because of the time changes
and social changes. Many of the lamas were kill … um .. were
persecuted and died. A lot of lamas were vanished. Many.
There were two lamas whose names were Gendenjav and Togoo.
They were arrested in 1938 and in 1939, when our family
moved here, they worked on the construction of School No 1
and as they were working so well that they were awarded the
Altan gadas (North Star) and went home. It was interesting.
By Altan gadas. Came as a convict and went back with Altan
gadas. Because they worked on the construction of School No
1, you know the engraving of Marshall Choibalsan, Lenin and
Sukhbaatar there. They worked on it, so they were awarded
the Altan gadas and went back. The two lamas, Gendenjav and
Togoo. Two good. Very good lamas. And they went back home.
What else shall we talk about?
How much do you know about these two people?
What? About those two people? One of them was … They
used to belong to Galuutai monastery. One of them, I guess,
was unzad. And sometimes Galuutai monastery was one of the
biggest in the western region. It had over 10 temples. It
had Choijin temple, Chogchin temple, Sakhiusan temple,
Maidar temple, Sagai temple, Khungiin … um … no, Khungiin
temple. Um … Maidar temple … Janraisig temple, so on, it had
over ten temples. It was a big monastery that had 12, 13
temples. And it had one … over hundred lamas. It was such a
big monastery. And our soum had one um … monastery. The
neighbouring soum, Sangiin soum, was Khoid monastery, we
called it that way. Also called Tevsh monastery. It also had
several temples. Almost 10 temples. And in summers what the
two monasteries did was Ganjuur and Danjuur were to Khoid
monastery um … were chanted at the south monastery and sent
to the north monastery on camel cart, on white camels and
covered by something red. That’s how they brought it to the
north monastery. From the north monastery they were brought
on the same white camels to the south monastery. And early
August, around August 10th Maidar tsam dance was held. And …
Maidar was practiced at that time. Sor also took place.
Ganjuur and Danjuur were also chanted. And my parents. My
parents were a normal country lady. My father knew how to
write Mongolian script. Also knew Tibetan. Knew them quite
well. My family … Not only my family. The Sartuuls of our
region had jasaa chanted once a year, in summer, autumn.
Every family. 1, 2 or 3 lamas came to chant. They chanted to
the fireplace. And to the nature and world. And … I
mentioned earlier the hide processing technology. Our region
was told to have a good technology. What we did was when we
were settled in winter at our winter camp, we processed it
with elduur – special wooden tool. We processed the hide. We
processed the sheep and goat hides. And processed the hides
of kids. With the hide of cattle we um … cut, after we
slaughtered it we made leather ropes and cut the hide, put
it around the ger outside and had it frozen. After two or
three days it would be a bit weathered. Once it was
weathered, um … brought the frozen leather, shove the hair,
and put it outside on the hut. It would be there until
spring, until February and March or April and May it would
be weathered a lot. And then what we do was um … We put the
raw leather rope in a big bucket, had it distilled and
processed it. Beat the rope. Processed the rope. Then we put
the rope in the dairy product. Putting in the dairy means
putting the yellow rope. Or putting white rope. Or shimeldeg
... That liquid um … stomach fat oil … Um cut the animal
stomach fat, heat and take the oil and what is left is
called shimeldeg. We oiled the rope with shimeldeg. That’s
how we made leather rope.
And in summer we processed the wool. What we did
when we processed the wool was with felt … We made felt.
Seven or eight days before making the felt we beat the wool.
Washed the wool. Dried the wool. Beat the wool. With the
beaten wool um … wool, with hair and tail we Mongolians
braided them and made rope. We made ropes for ger. We made
ropes for canvas. That’s how we processed it. It didn’t
matter whether it was winter or summer. Generally, country
families always had something to do. And in winter they made
the summer clothes. In summer they also made the winter
clothes. And nowadays … Our … our um … when we were little,
we didn’t normally wear silk etc. Made clothes with cloth
exterior. We made deel from cloth. Covered the outside of
fur deels with cloth. Something like that. And (raised his
voice) but we made deels from yellowish, orange coloured,
yellow coloured and blue coloured cloth. Ladies used to make
deels from … more colourful cloth.
And in summers we didn’t eat meat. Always um …
always had dairy products. And when children were in desire
for meat, they hunted groundhogs and the meat of it … take
the skin. Then opened the stomach, took out the intestines,
and secretly hiding in the mountain far from home, secretly
taking matches from home, cleaned the groundhog, and took
the skin. Then they heated some rock until it became red
hot, and put the meat between the rocks. And that took about
four or five minutes, I guess. It didn’t take ten minutes.
Four or five minutes. It is small. And it is cooked real
soon. Then the meat … Groundhog meat meant we caught by our
parents. (raised his voice) When we were caught by parents,
we were beaten to death. By leather rope (laughed). Then
they said “If I catch you killing and eating groundhog! I
swear …” Then, you know, we had not learnt the lesson, after
two, three days we hunted again and beaten again. And um …
the Sartuuls are rather interesting. Their children were
very affectionate. And pregnant … pregnant … women were
taken care of and respected a lot. Why, why I’m talking
about is during summer, they didn’t give marmot meat to
pregnant women. Meat of games was not given to them either.
And children did not normally eat marmot and other game
meat. Never gave them. Prohibited. The reason was to prevent
from various diseases and to prevent them from getting
scared of. Animal slaughtering was even not shown to
children and women. No sign of it. After the animal was
slaughtered, skinned, and took the intestines, women came
and clean the intestines, but women and children were not
present during slaughtering. Generally (raised his voice),
they didn’t show children animal slaughtering. At that time,
families asked lamas for a date to slaughter animals and on
that day they lit burner on the altar. I assume that these
were not actually religious rituals, rather they were
cultural issues. Cultural issues. To respect their
livestock. A cultural issue of respect. Mm … I distinguish
them as cultural issues. It was not a way of praying or
believing in Buddhism, but a way of showing respect to their
animals. In our region, people didn’t slaughter their own
animals for food. When they needed meat, they either
exchanged with other families or um … bought from other
families. At that time. A goat cost ten mungu. A sheep cost
fifteen mungu. A cattle cost ten, fifteen tugrug. Value of
tugrug was very (raised his voice) high. “And sold a … tiny
limb of a goat for twenty, twenty five mungu. Sold a very
expensive sheep. We wouldn’t buy from them. We’d buy it from
someone else.” From someone else meant parent went to a
different family and bought a sheep or goat for ten, fifteen
mungu and used it as winter food. That was interesting. And
they never consumed the animal they took care of and their
own animals. So interesting. That was a custom … at that
Um … We had such “spoiled” animals. In our region,
the sheep had such huge horns, like the ones that male
argali sheep had. And goats had long, sword-like horns like
those of ibexes. The reason was that during summer, autumn,
during summer argali sheep and ibexes cross-bred with sheep
and goats. Mongolian … In the pasture they came and
cross-bred with sheep and goats. During their reproducing
period, they cross-bred with um … domestic sheep and goats,
and they had horned lambs … Lambs and kids were left. When
we chose father-sheep and father-goat, we selected those
with big and long horns. And the offsprings of those sheep
and goat would be um … were huge. Sartuul breed. That
special breed, Sartuul, is very big. We had such huge sheep
and goats compared to other regions of Mongolia, central and
eastern regions. Your region was also the same. The same.
The custom is still kept. Your region is hopefully the same
(took a long sigh). I’ll tell you something interesting. Our
family was Sutai lake and a huge mountain called Sutai
mountain. In the foot of that mountain there is a gap called
Tsagaan gol (White river) that faces south. With a little
stream. There were seven, eight families. Dejeekhuu,
Dorjiikhuu, Saavan, Sereeter, Gurvan nuden, Galsan toin, our
family, Bat-Ochir um … And seven, eight families. And our
family had one, two white goats and one blue goat. With huge
horns. Me and my little brother trained them to collide with
their horns. It is extremely easy … um to rain animals to
collide with horns. When it’s a kid, a little kid, you use
your finger to its head like this. Just touch it. And that
little thing would always go like this, colliding at things.
And after few days, you would do this to its head um …
clutch your hand and do this to its forehead and it will
learn to collide. And then (raised his voice) with three,
four days interval, you do this with your hand seven, eight
times. Um … after this, that goat would become a real
collider. And one um … morning our neighbour at north
Dorjiihuu’s family. That was son-in-law of … a rich family.
It was a rich family. They were rather boasters. Shout … a
very noisy man he was. And the dog we had would attack at
people. And yaks would hate the dog. No way. If yaks were
around, it would never (raised his voice). Um … would lie in
the shadow of huge cliffs of the mountain in the north. And
one morning that Dorjiikhuu headed our ger, topless, with
huge Mongolian boot-socks flapping around. The two goats
would lie at the two sides of the door facing each other. At
that time gers didn’t have wooden doors. It had felt door.
The felt door would always be raised and placed on the ger.
And Dorjiikhuu came circling the ger from the west side. And
the blue goat was um … lying on the west side of the door.
When he passed the goat, he touched its mouth with his boot.
With … mm … um … the flappy part of his boot. Just touched
it. Then I guess the goat didn’t like it. Probably thought …
I don’t know. Maybe thought he defied it? It got up,
stretched. And when Dorjiikhuu entered the ger. When he was
trying to enter the ger and bowed, that goat “Bam!” from the
behind like this (collided his feasts and laughed) hit him.
And then my sister and my little brother were at the piled
dung putting … dung in the basket to take it to ger. And we
were looking at him like this when the goat collided him.
And the three of us … started to laugh our heads off. It was
such an incident. We laughed a lot. Since then Dorjiikhuu …
here … when he came to our ger … if there were the two
goats. He would say “Mr. Baljinnyam, take the two goats
away. Your two goats will hit me.” Since then he wouldn’t
come to our ger just like that. Our … um … I guess it’s
children’s habit. The calf of the yak was also trained to
collide. Interesting. It would hit other animals. Because we
trained it like this. Train like this. It was funny.
It is almost ten now. Five to ten. That is all for
now. And tomorrow, from tomorrow starting from 1939 tomorrow
Interviews, transcriptions and translations provided by The Oral History of Twentieth Century Mongolia, University of Cambridge. Please acknowledge the source of materials in any publications or presentations that use them.