Badamgerel


Basic information
Interviewee ID: 990911
Name: Badamgerel
Parent's name: Tsoojiljav
Ovog: [blank]
Sex: f
Year of Birth:
Ethnicity: [unknown]

Additional Information
Education: [unknown]
Notes on education:
Work:
Belief:
Born in: Otgon sum, Zavhan aimag
Lives in: sum (or part of UB), Ulaanbaatar aimag
Mother's profession:
Father's profession:


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Translation:



The Oral History of Twentieth Century Mongolia

Byambajavв -

I thank you very much for accepting my invitation and coming here to participate in this interview. Well, before the interview I have a few questions to ask from you. Firstly, historians and scholars will use information contained in your interview after a century, may be after many centuries in their research, it may be used as reference material in articles on history in newspapers and journals, in broadcasts by TV and radio. So would you give the permission to use the information you gave us in these areas.

Badamgerel -

Oh, I give the permission.

Byambajavв -

Well, thank you very much. Aa, if you so wish you may keep your name concealed in this interview. Or else you may without hiding openly say it. What is your choice?

Badamgerel -

We can mention it..

Byambajavв -

So it is possible, yes?

Badamgerel -

Yes.

Byambajavв -

Leave it without hiding it.

Badamgerel -

It means leaving it without concealing.

Byambajavв -

Let’s now start the inter... the interview. Now will you first of all introduce yourself and speak about yourself, about your family, in general, about your…

Badamgerel -

Aa haa

Byambajavв -

Introduce yourself well…

Badamgerel -

Well, I am called (my name is)Choijilyn Badamgerel. I am from Otgon soum of Zavkhan aimag, of the soum. Aa, I spent my childhood in Zavkhan aimag. Aa then after I finished 10 year school I studied in a school of Radio and technique in the former USSR (kept silence for a while) then …mmm…graduated from there and met my husband…Aan we were married in 1986 after our wedding I gave birth to twins…and now my two daughters ….has reached the age of 19. After 5 years… since their birth my son was born. A son was born. He is now in his fifth grade. Aa, the brief (biography) of my family, aa my (biography) is this. My husband after graduating from the school (institute) is working in television repair for nearly twenty years. As for the duration of employment, I worked for the state for 3 years in general. Well, if you ask …mmm…why for such a short period? When I gave birth to my son (0-03-40 / 41), he was diagnosed as having epilepsy, so I had to take care of my child and could not work. For quite some time, until my son was almost ten years old I looked after him and this means I was not working for almost ten years. Yes, during this period in one’s life there were many sad and gloomy days as well as joy and happiness. Aa, then what was the happiest moments in my life. When I graduated from the school (institute) and came back, gave birth to twins and became a daughter-in-law, these were, most probably, the happiest moments in my life I think. Then the childhood years are, in general, the happiest time, you don’t have any worries. This and that…mmm…are provided readily by our fathers and mothers. Aa, then when my twin daughters were only 5 months old my mother passed away (gulped her saliva). Since then my father …I have been living together with my family in my fathers apartment until the 6th micro district was constructed and we received an apartment. Then…my husband used to drink a little, at that time it was understandable because he was also (like me) depressed and sad. Aa, when I was looking after my child and sitting home my father used to say ”I’ll take care of the child, my daughter you should socialize, study and educate yourself, you should be amid the society. How long can you sit home looking after your child?” So my father was taking care of my child and I went out looking for some school where could study, that time I had very few acquaintances, so while walking I came across Narantsetseg, wife of a lama whom I happened to know. She was, the one, who for the first time told me that there is a religious lesson why don’t you attend it. So I started attending the lessons that time our Tibetan teacher had not yet arrived. He was no there yet and only Mongolian teachers were starting to conduct the lessons. Now, there is this teacher Gundsambuu.

Byambajavв -

Aa, yes (cleared his throat)

Badamgerel -

Teacher Gundsambuu of Gandan was talking about Lamrim, he was explaining Lamrin, I think now. He would give explanations of Lamrim and then take us to Gandan for daily recitals. Aa, we recited Itgel and other hymns. I recited those scriptures and was very interested, in general, I think that…mmm…my father and mother helped me from childhood to become a believer, a devotee of religion. I assume that they embedded faith in me, and laid the foundation of faith. Since the time I became conscious…mmm…my mother when we went out in the evening to relieve ourselves she applied soot on my nose and would say you are now a hare with a blaze on the forehead, this will defend your from fear, then she told me the tale of Nogoon Darhi (Green Tara). Once upon a time two devils wanted to harm the child of an ail (household) but while they were watching the child was turned into a hare with a blaze on the forehead (0-07-23-25) and the mother recited some part of the tarni (dharani) when the two devils looked up…they saw a lame hare she told this tale to me and used to say this was how it will defend you. My daughter, you should recite this tarni (dharani) from the bottom of your heart. And also she told me if you are going to remove a stone or going to dig land, you should recite this tarni and used to teach me many things from scriptures. So that faith influenced me from the very beginning (0-07-54-55) to learn and study religious scriptures. Then… until 7 I was alone at home. I had no younger sibling…my younger sister? was not born, she was born when I was 7 years old. Aa, until then my mother and father used to amuse me by the following way, they gave me a plate of millet and a plate of rice and also gave me a bottle. So I used to put a grain of millet or rice in turn into the bottle saying “Um mani bad mi hum” thus reciting the prayer I spent almost the whole day. When I recall those days and think over it now my father and mother were using a very clever method of education.

Byambajavв -

Yes.

Badamgerel -

By doing that I learned to be patient in the first place, yes, I put the grain one by one and counted them, I don’t know whether any child would be doing that or not. So at there and continued counting, at first one type of grain then the other, then they would mix the grains and gave it back to me. So I would separate the grains, while separating count them, this was the way my parents amused me, I was the only pampered baby of the family. Then eventually these grains would become soiled and black in colour, when it happens my mother would tell me let’s take it and feed the mountain animals (mouse), so we would climb high hills and where there is a lot of grass…and there are many mouse. And we would put that grain at mouth of their holes. Now, I don’t think I can bring up my children in such way and give that knowledge and understanding. Now, there is no one who brings up the child in that manner, …it is probably very rare…

Byambajavв -

Now, you …

Badamgerel -

( Laughs)

Byambajavв -

Is it possible.

Badamgerel -

We should bring up (the children). Of course, it is possible. Now, I think about it very often, ponder about it, but sometimes I think it is already late. That was how I was brought since the time I became conscious. So since I was a small child, I counted the manis (prayers) and tarnis (mantras) from the bottom of my soul. It was wonderful and my father and mother in that manner managed so that I could make a lot of merits. Now, I feel greatly obliged to my father and mother, it was they who by educating me at home, laid the foundation of everything I have, it is the upbringing in the family that influences (your future), it determines it.

Byambajavв -

Yes, of course.

Badamgerel -

Yes. So when I started attending lessons on scriptures I had high expectations. And when my mother died I decided to read dunchuur (hundred million) manis, I had no idea what dunchuur manis meant, I heard people say that reading dunchuur manis makes great merit and made a pledge to myself to count it, so since then I had read a dunchuur mani. Towards the end you lose the count, so I stopped counting it. When I first attended the lesson the Buddhist scriptures, I recalled all that and when teachers explained the scriptures I felt that as though I was fully immersed in it. It happened when Dalai bagsh arrived (in Mongolia) and delivered preaching on “Duinkhoryn Van” (consecration of wheel of time), before that he also had delivered “Duinkhoryn Van” then after that all those who attended the preaching were told to meditate on the compound of the Gandan. We were told: imagine that there are many Burkhans (Buddhas) all over the sky, imagine that the Tsagaan Dari Ekhe ( Goddess White Tara) is present, and see your own light. So I started meditating and I created a beautiful image in my mind, there were so many Burkhans, as many as in a Christian church and I got very excited. It was a time when my mother died, I thought that my mother is there and she is looking at me, when I imagined in this way, I involuntarily started weeping and various thoughts came to my mind. I was very excited. So when I was attending lessons on scriptures, a Tibetan teacher came to our centre, I attended his lessons, came to know him and later I began to help him. Because at that time there was no job that I could really do, I wanted to help them from the bottom of my heart, and I took the materials to be copied on “Canon”, for example if they wanted to reproduce scriptures I would spare a few tugrugs and had them copied. Thus I went on. As for the teacher, I think that being a teacher of a person means that he is there in the place of your father and mother. From this point of view I look at my teachers as my father and mother if you think of him in this sense then you respect your teacher to the fullest of respect and esteem, this is what I think. Aa, then teacher was handwriting the sutras together with this Chuluuntsetseg. And I used to help them in copying and reproducing those handwritten sutras. Thus this very precious association of ours has begun.(Laughed) So it went on like this then my father died in 2000…in 1999. Thus I have become a full orphan, with only one young sibling, two of us. It is very inconvenient for a person to have a few relatives. It is difficult when you encounter different problems… when there is problem to whom you should address. Then for me my younger sibling (brother or sister?)…is too young, the child is seven years younger than me. Even if I told him/her about my problems she/he will not take it that close to heart, will not understand. So to whom shall I confide…with whom shall I speak. So I spoke about it with my teacher only. I tell all my difficulties and problems to my teacher. Aa, then the companion of your life is a person and is a pillar for you to support. So with the support of these kind people I have reached this level of my living. Then, in general, people arrange their livelihood with the support of each other, in close interdependence from each other. Otherwise, when you think over, there is nothing I can say that I created it, I’d done it. Therefore, you must care for others, care for the environs, love your family members, respect your neighbours. Now, when my family is not in town, say we are at the summer camp, our neighbours will look after and defend our apartment. If they don’t do, there could be a different story. Aa, I also always think that people should love…love each other.

Byambajavв -

When did you first meet your Gevsh teacher, can you tell us about your impression of that period?

Badamgerel -

At first it was teacher Gundsambuu who taught us the lessons then in 96 oh no 2000, was it in 97 (0-15-17-18) I forgot the year. One day at a lesson teacher Gundsambuu said from tomorrow a genuine Tibetan teacher will give you the lessons. So we were sitting at the lesson. At that time only four or five people attended lessons on Buddhist religion. They were mostly grandmothers I was the only young woman. (Laughed) Then while we sat there a brown skinned young man came in started giving lesson, I did not know the language, did not understand in what language he was speaking, but we had a translator, Gundsambuu bagsh was translating. When we were told he was the teacher from Tibet…at that time we had never seen a Tibetan before and it was very interesting. We thought Tibetans look just like Mongols. So we continued our lessons and later…after almost a year we had a lot of people. I found out that even before that quite few people his disciples used to help my teacher. So I came to know better my teacher after a year. The reason I came to know him well was the following once during a lesson he said, he was encountering some difficulties in reproducing and distributing religious books, as I heard it I decided to help the teacher in this matter. So one day I asked the teacher what do you need? (үр удмаараа-probably wrong transcription) Shall we help but the teacher replied no, no, there is no need. Then one day after the lesson he told me to attend the other lessons he was giving to a small group. When I came to attend the lesson, there were three lamas and Chuka four of them. So I joined and 5 of us were attending the lessons. Chuka translated and the three lama…aan the three lama and myself were taking notes, that time I did not know Tibetan script…I have not even seen it (laughed) I can’t write…and always lagged behind so teacher told them to write it for me. And they wrote the lessons for me. It went this way then my father was diagnosed as having stomach cancer so I could not continue the lessons. Then at that time my husband used to drink and I was living under heavy psychological pressure. When I tried to tell about it to my teacher he would not understand, my teacher does not know Mongolian. He spoke only few words, he virtually did not know Mongolian language. But I was ashamed from Chuluuntsetseg and could not to ask Chuka to translate for me. (laughed) In my view it was tantamount to vilifying to the teacher that my husband is a drinker and I was embarrassed. So I was wondering how to tell about it to my teacher, one day when Chuka and me were sitting in teachers office, Chuka told him about her life. Then she also told me. I am in great difficulty, I also have this problem sister Badmaa she said. Then since we are women, we found a common language instantly and I also told her that my husband was drinking, I have also the same problem. And we both told about it to the teacher (0-18-50-53). Then the teacher said a lot of nice words to pacify our minds. Out of the feeling of joy, forgot what I said in response. I was pleasantly pacified and reassured, since then my attitude to the teacher has become more and more close and gradually I have established a very close working relations with my teacher as well as a very precious association of the teacher and the disciple.

Byambajavв -

Will you tell me in more details exactly in which year that centre was constructed and the meritorious deeds accomplished by it since then?

Badamgerel -

Yes, the construction of our centre has started from March 2, 2003. The foundation was laid on that day and by the 15, 16th of October 2003 it was commissioned, I think. Then at our centre our teacher conduct lessons explaining Buddhist religion on the subject of skill of living to students and youth, to any one who are interested regardless of their age. Aa, after the centre was established the teacher taught this lesson in addition to that we organized a training courses on tailoring as well as conduct handicraft course for low income female heads of households in order to provide them the opportunity to get an access to new sources of income. In that course ancient methods of embroidering are taught for 35 days, on completion they receive a special code, and by that code they bring to us the products they made at home, we buy the product and take the responsibility for sale. For those who are industrious and active this is a substantial support to continue their activities. Some of them thanks to this support now have their own house and various other items. Before this centre was built the teacher gave to 2-3 persons now this wireless white telephone sets.

Byambajavв -

Yes.

Badamgerel -

He bought and gave it to them.

Byambajavв -

Huh…

Badamgerel -

When he gave these telephone sets he also developed a plan for them, well, if you received an income of ....so many tugrugs today, you may spend so many for food, so many you should deposit in savings account monthly. With that plan he gave the telephone sets. Aa, as a result…this…there is a woman by the name of Tungalag. She earned considerable amount of money and bought a khashaan (fenced compound) with a house. This is how their life is supported…mmm…if the person himself is determined then as the saying goes “If the master is determined, the fate follows the course ”, it is the plain truth, yeah. In general when one studies the religious philosophy he/she understands a lot of things. Some apparently…develops psychic(extrasensory) ability to see… and feel things. I, at least, think so. A person may be depressed and sad, and think that it is because of somebody, that someone did that and this or he/she was happy but now life has become a misery, who is responsible for it. Then that person should understand that all this is his/her own fault. It is because of him/her that everything is sliding down, The person himself is at fault. But we do not understand it but think everything is depending from others. If your husband drinks vodka, then you scold the other person, it is you who drink the vodka together with him and you gave him the drink. I have been such a fool. When I recall that and think about it, it is just horrible. Today, when we were waiting for teacher Tsermaa to conduct her lesson, I was telling Otgoo when we now listen to what people are talking about and listen to what they are saying, we have been walking our eyes closed, aren’t we. There is no way of propping some one up if that person himself has no motivation to do so, no matter how hard another person tries to guide him or her to the right direction with sincere desire to help…it will not yield any result. For me, at least, I think, today it is proven beyond any doubt.(laughed) If you ask why I prove with such a confidence then I can say that different people come here to attend the training courses, they attend sewing courses, then there are people who are sincerely motivated and think that if I do this from the bottom of my soul, then it will give me its benefit, they are totally different from others, even the products they bring to us are different. But if a person is only interested in getting some money and sew for this purpose alone, things did not work, even the money they receive will not bring them any benefit. And they will usually come to tell us tales of sufferings. I am not getting anywhere. I had a debt of so many tugrugs, I can’t get rid of that debt until now, thus they will continue talk and talk. Aa, there is a person who tailor an item for a month sincerely and meticulously, afraid that it may be rejected, it may become unattractive. Then there are individuals who were concerned that we’ll sell the product and show to foreigners, and tailored it from the bottom their heart afraid that the product will become unattractive, then the product will be sold quickly and the money they get will really be money worthwhile. So…I always and think and wish that everyone understand this very well. That is why people should attend training courses at our centre…should listen to the sermons…in comparison with past it has become very nice today. There are many meditation courses, many interesting lectures are given. A person can express his views freely, isn’t it. Students and trainees, members of any stratum of society can now freely air their views freely whenever they wish. It was not so during the period of our fathers and mothers.

Byambajavв -

It was a closed society, isn’t it?

Badamgerel -

Closed, you can’t express yourself, can’t worship your religion, in general, there was not very much freedom. I am happy to live a small part of my life … even for a short period in this free society (laughs) .

Byambajavв -

Yes, of course.

Badamgerel -

Yes, (cleared her throat) When we our two daughters were still young …I usually bought them two exactly the same…twin clothes. When buying shirt I bought two exactly the same one. And when we entered the shop my twin daughters when they saw the same items they would say Mammy over there “there are twin balls”. So they got an understanding the same means twins. (cleared her throat) Now, at the University they have a lot of confusion. Even their colleagues in the same group confuse them (laughed). Tsolmon…Uuriintsolmon studies in that, School of International relations of Humanitarian University, as for Tuya she is in Mongolian University… They are Uuriin Tsolmon and Uuriin Tuya. Aa Tuya is a student at the Chair of Psychological Studies of the Mongolian State University. Then once Tuya went to the Tsolmon’s course and was standing there, then several male students of Tsolmon’s course saw her and asked in which room they‘ll have lecture. So Tuya waited a while and said to them Tsolmon was sitting at her lecture. Then those students burst into laughter and left. People can’t distinguish them. Even bus conductors can not distinguish them. It is really funny one day were travelling in a bus together with a girl from their course then one of twins gave her bus fee the conductor…she took it, after that again the other twin also gave her fee but the conductor was so bewildered that even forget to receive the money just continued to stare at the twins. The girl of their course who was travelling together burst into laughter making fun of the conductor. So the conductor was at loss from whom she received the fee and anyway she received the fee then … until the next stop she could not take her eyes off (laughed) from them and continued to stare. Exactly like twins are born as a result of the division of a single cell, there is also twins of two cells, so the twins of single cells are alike just as a drop of water. Twins of two cells are born as male and female or their facial features are different. Our two daughters are of single cell and they are perfectly identical. You saw them?

Byambajavв -

Yes, I saw.

Badamgerel -

Are they identical? They say that Chuka is our child. The elder sister of the two… people are very funny. …eh, eh…may be because she wears eyeglasses, aren’t they?

Byambajavв -

It is so, they often say that about Chuka []trans: not Chuka akh or brother as in the text].

Badamgerel -

Yes, those people who attend our lessons on scriptures say that. She… they think of Chuka, is a child of this family. And they say how wonderful it is that the whole family have such…a good…education, how wonderful it is they often say. Then our grandmothers have their TV sets repaired by my husband very often. My husband stopped drinking. For the last two, three years he has not drunk at all…

Byambajavв -

What was the influence?

Badamgerel -

I don’t know really know whose influence it was (laughed) could well be my influence. It is truly….mmm…

Byambajavв -

Of course, it was…

Badamgerel -

As for me there couldn’t be my influence. It was the influence of our teacher. My teacher gives very wise counsel. When your husband comes home, when he comes home drunk a women usually keep herself free of him, distance herself completely, cut him off from the surroundings. And virtually push him away. Getting angry that he drank, did this or that is tantamount to pushing him away (brushing him aside). Women usually don’t feel the delicacy of the problem. So my Gevsh teacher told me, don’t get angry when your husband comes home drunk but you should treat him nicely, give him delicous food, give what he wants, change his clothes let him sleep. I never thought doing such a thing. That dirty bastard comes back in mud soiled clothes which had I cleaned, why should I treat him that way, this thought came to my mind but I can’t say it my teacher, I just kept it in my head. But I would say “yes” to my teacher. Then after a while I began to follow his advice. Then later I thought well, I should try to implement the recommendations of my teacher, I’ll try not pay any attention how much he drinks, how much money he spent, it was usually in the range of 200, 300 tugrugs. Alcoholics are difficult to deal with, my husband is not that much a drinker. An alcoholic drinks without interruption through day and night. Then my husband used to drink rarely but I happened to be ill-mannered and behaved badly. I did not feel myself that…mmm…so my teacher used to tell me “From my observation I can say that it is you who are the ill-mannered one, you are behaving badly, you are unable to guide your husband and take care of him”. I defended myself, saying on the whole I am right, why should I encourage him for not drinking or this and that. So when a person behaves stupidly, that person becomes a real fool himself. So I thought about it quite lot. The teacher continued to tell me do aan…this and that. Then at the end … he started to lose his clothes and show symptoms of chronic alcoholism. So I was resolved to try once again what the teacher recommended me, I decided that, in spite of everything, we will spend our entire life clinging to each other, if not me who will prop him up. His father and mother discharged him from their home, they now think that he has a good wife enjoy good life and he has his own children. Mmm…we, the parents not even suspect that the child has almost become an alcoholic. When he comes home even though he doest not raise his voice in drunken rage it is highly depressing to the children. He comes in intoxicated and almost unconscious falls face down and sleeps. So when in the morning he gets up and goes to his work, there is no joy in the home, no such a thing at all so it becomes almost unbearable. Then as advised by the teacher…aaa…I started taken good care of him, when comes in drunk I took off his clothes and put them in the washing machine, fed him with good food…when he was drunk he would not notice that. But when gets up the next morning his clothes would be cleaned and pressed, he would take his breakfast and leave for his work. However, before I used to scold him “you foolish drunkard, again gulped vodka” (laughed) and he had to leave without even thinking about breakfast. So the after the scolding and quarrel in the morning it is understandable how felt for the whole day. So I followed exactly the recommendations of my teacher. At the same time my teacher was in close contact with my family, this Gevsh teacher of mine. When we were at summer camp he would come and spend a night or two. While he was there…he would speak with Batsukh…mmm…studied his characters, he had considered what woud the best approach to him. Then he told me he is such a kind man, your mistake was there. So I was following teachers advice and to the end he quit drinking. Now once he stopped drinking, he is trying hard to help his friends, he is seeking ways and means to persuade them (stop drinking). He gives a lot of advice to their wives. So I am very glad. Now, I try not do anything that will hurt him psychologically, I don’t say any bad words or start nagging him you are not doing this or that…mmm…you could have get this done et. That was also wrong, marital relations are very precious. Not every one is aware of this… it is regrettable there are very few who understands it. This is what I think. And now when I watch the wives of Batsukh’s friends who are drinking, they behave just I did in the past, scold and reproach their husbands. So I try to convince them not to do so. It is the worst possible option and explain how or why Batsukh quit drinking. Since it is a real live example a person gives some thought to it. Yes, Batsukh used to drink and the reason he stopped drinking was here to see. And occasionally some women call me on phone to ask “this guy is drinking, what shall I do”. This is the good effect. I always advise these people to attend …lessons of my teacher, do this and that, follow the instructions of your teacher diligently. Marital relations are the most important thing…I doubt that every one is able to feel that.

Byambajavв -

It is rare.

Badamgerel -

Probably, it is rare, that is what I think, and then I reflect over this from different perspectives. When you look at it from different perspectives, every one has a different character, so for some may be a light scolding or some sort of pressure is needed. Aa, it is characteristic for most of the men…mmm… to expect encouragement from women, they just love that in my opinion. Now, I take pity of my only son. What if he were to fall into someone’s hands and be scolded and get lost for a while like his father did, then he would suffer emotionally. That was a bitter story of a man, it was also very sad past of mine. I didn’t understand why he was drinking and when he was already so depressed emotionally by my pressure I sank him down even further. I did not know that thanks to my teacher…if my father and mother were alive at that time they would have also told the same thing to me, aren’t they?

Byambajavв -

Yes.

Badamgerel -

Intelligent person would tell you that. Actually, my father told me about it. Before my father died my husband used to drink 2, 3 times (in a month?). He used to say: my daughter don’t scold him too much, you are a bit too harsh. By loving the other you receive love in response. I did not understand his words, that was terrible. Now at the end when you are old you understand them.

Byambajavв -

Well, was it the influence of your teacher and how it affected your life.

Badamgerel -

Aa haan

Byambajavв -

In your opinion had it also impacted in this same manner the life of other persons working in your organization, is it?

Badamgerel -

Of course, it did, … on me?, on the others? If you are asking could the teacher influence in such a manner on the life those persons who are working in this organization…on their life, I would say of course he did. I believe that his influence reaches all his disciples. I told you that when we started (lessons on Buddhism) there were only 4, 5 people. After I started working here, I rarely see those who attended the lessons from the very beginning. When I see them occasionally, they are all in a good shape and look fine. They are very peaceful and concentrated, most of them have achieved a state of stability. Generally, I believe that a teacher can influence your family life. If those at the other end have a good receptive potential the influence will come quickly. (laughed) It comes instantly. Lack of potential creates problem, yes. If there is a true lack of potential then what can we do. There are also many people who reject the religion and its philosophy. When I started attending lessons on (Buddhist) philosophy my husband said that I was attending a stupid gathering, my friends came to visit us and scolded me, so I cried for I felt so lonely among them, I went into the kitchen room and continued to cry, my husband reproached me that I was attending a stupid thing and I became a fool. So I said it is the religion of my father and mother, I am duty bound to continue worship their religion. My friend who came with her husband both showed me how to press on you, they told me you are going to a truly stupid thing, why are you going there, how could you go so crazy. So I had nothing to say and only wept, letting out loud cries in my kitchen.(laughed) Now every one…understood that I was going for the right thing. But (before) even the co-workers of my husband teased and insulted me when I visited him and speaking in a strange voice “So you attend religious lessons, Jaa (yes), bagshaa (teacher)” Now, when Batsukh has been changed and became a very pleasant person their attitude had also been changed. “Is that lesson truly so nice” when I reply “yes” it is. They now often say I want my wife or my husband would attend that lesson. So as you can see it has great influence, isn’t it?

Byambajavв -

Yes, it has.

Badamgerel -

Yeah, Now this should spread in future like this still further and further. I intended to direct my two daughter towards this end…so that they learn the skill to take care themselves in this society, the ability to judge things from different perspectives, for that thought they will get the skill from this…(Buddhist lessons). So I hoped that one of my two daughters…mmm…will graduate from the faculty where Chuka studied. The linguistics chair of the University, that chair of Eastern studies, there is a class of Tibetan language over there, I thought that one will enter that chair, but I was unable, their interest prevailed.

Byambajavв -

It will.

Badamgerel -

However, as for psychology, I am satisfied that she is studying psychology. Because psychology is a very beautiful profession and a very complex profession, isn’t it ?

Byambajavв -

It is very similar to the Buddhist teachings.

Badamgerel -

Similar, yeah, the other one is in international relations, she studies many extremely interesting subjects. My children always tell me what happened at the school, what they did and the lectures they attended. Today, we studied this subject, heard lecture on such subject, I’ll make such a report, we’ll do this or that, we need these books or those books and they tell me everything frankly, I am extremely satisfied and content to hear their chattering. They have, after all, chosen very nice profession. And I am also confident that they have the ability to manage their own life. As for my son, since he was ill from childhood, he is a bit spoiled Baagii, Baterdene. However, he is very good in English.

Byambajavв -

Is it so?

Badamgerel -

He has been watching cartoons and he himself taught independently and learned English. When he entered the school…he could speak some conversational English. So I am now helping him to learn the language more thoroughly. He was sitting at home alone watching cartoons this way children usually learns the language very fast. Suddenly we found out that he could speak quite a bit. He could not write but could speak. So when he was in the first grade, I sent him to this 30 day course. So he could write in printed letters, he was very weak in grammar. Now he is studying grammar in school. He frequently participates in English language Olympiads. However, he hasn’t won any distinction, has not won yet a medal. But any way, we are satisfied.

Byambajavв -

That is enough.

Badamgerel -

For me it is quite enough. I never scold my children for showing poor result, I don’t reproach them for bad learning…don’t scold them. Because I understood too well that if a person is under constant psychological pressure it would be much tougher to overcome the encountering difficulty. I now recall that as a rule my father and mother…had never pressed me hard, in the first grade I was the worst student (pupil). I understood nothing and did not like to attend the school. I was a child who would cling to the frame of my bed whenever father told me to go to school. So my father… mmm…would pull me from my sash, we were living in the countryside and children over there usually wear deel (national robe). Then mothers asked to leave me alone, after a while I would go to the school, I did not follow the time schedule, if the lessons were to start at 1 o’clock, I would come to my lessons at 3 p.m. I was such a spoiled child. …My father and mother did not scold me for the bad behaviour…never pressed me hard for my poor performance at school. But on contrary I forced my wish on others.

Byambajavв -

Are you afraid of your teacher?

Badamgerel -

Of course, I am. There is such a big thing as the eminence of the teacher. We are afraid to death of his wisdom, erudition and merits. We lack the capacity to contemplate… as he does. Therefore, we respect these great powers of him and are afraid of him.

Byambajavв -

That esteem and fear do they impact positively on the activities of your organisation?

Badamgerel -

No, it does not, how can it, what do you mean by positively?

Byambajavв -

May be in good ways?

Badamgerel -

Oh, there is the good influence. It is because of our respect and reverence of the teacher that our activities are soaring high. If we were not to implement the task given by our teacher, don’t respect our teacher our activities will plunge down. Out of respect of his great mental power though we can not fully satisfy the demands of his high intellect and vision we are determined to carry out our work to the best of our abilities. Even we are not able to cope with, this man gave tremendous will to do something beneficial. He gave us happiness, tranquillity of mind and it had a profound influence on our families. Once I visited an outside organisation, one of my friends was working as the secretary of the Democratic Union. When I was sitting there, it was time of an election and the people over there were terribly funny (interesting), they were working under constant tension. Hey, hey, there is a spy of the Revolutionary party one yelled. Let’s take his picture and in a big group they rushed out and were taken photos, then yelled he fled, he fled. After that someone shouted hey, he might broke the window and all of them crowded at the window, thus they were all the time in confusion and commotion. Then they asked each other who is going to win ( not join as in the text) from this party? We should know that well, how many people are going to vote for the party, is there any way to predict or to calculate it etc. It was horrible, they were under (constant tension).

Byambajavв -

Negative

Badamgerel -

Yes, negative. All that bad energy affected me so badly, while sat in that room I thought I would faint (laughed).And they constantly heaped insults on the other party, too eager to show that they are better than others, always in fighting spirit, there is nothing like that at our work. It is pleasantly peaceful here “This should be done, we should do this” then everyone knows and caries out the entrusted task, probably it is also like that in other places, but not in many, however, I haven’t been many other organisations. This was the only place I visited. Aa, I know quite well the organization where my husband works. But many negative elements always happen there. So…mmm…they usually work in shifts. And one is supposed to make repair of TV sets during his shift. While he is doing his work, then someone from the other shift comes in and takes over the other’s work, it looks senseless to me. Among all these senseless chaos I am happy to find and see a ray of light through the eye of needle, that is the tranquillity (of mind). So when a person is peaceful at mind everything is at peace and agreeable…and I think that success is the outcome of all those pleasant and agreeable things.

Byambajavв -

Could you give your own impressions about the activities of your organization on the whole?

Badamgerel -

My own impression is extremely high. In our organization including our teacher only 5 of us work. If someone is absent we substitute her and make her job, it should be done, she does this, let’s do it and thus we carry on our activities without interruption. That is why I am happy that I am here, at our organization. Of course, I am happy returning home. My children grew up. We don’t have any problem. Then after all happiness is when you don’t have any illness, if you are overridden by illness useless are wealth and knowledge in your head. Yes.

Byambajavв -

Yes, it is so.

Badamgerel -

Yeah, first…, I met Rinbouchi teacher and others, told them my son was suffering from such an illness and had him examined by them, since then my son’s disease was cured. There is one Mrs. Khaidy, doctor of Rinbouchi teacher. Chuka knows her well. She…gives a pill, a small white pellet pills. That pill enhances greatly immunity of human body. When you put it under your tongue it melts instantly, in a second. Taking the pill, generally, energizes you, quite interestingly. How does the doctor diagnoses a person? She asks you to tell your stories and diagnoses you by the state of your psychology. Isn’t it wonderful?

Byambajavв -

Yes, it is.

Badamgerel -

Yeah, the doctor will come this year. (0-51-29-30) She treats patient psychologically. She would ask you what difficulties did you encounter in your life, how did take it psychologically, what was the most happy moments? And did you suffer from severe illness, how did the illness hurt you. How did you feel at that time psychologically she would ask you. The interview takes awfully long time. It lasts for about an hour or two. Then after that she gives you one such pill. My son took twice that pill and his epilepsy was cured. It apparently, in general, boosts human immunity. Then of course there are different pills prescribed according the diagnoses. She has plenty of small test tubes containing those small pellets of white pills, the pill has a sugary taste. Even the thought how it helps comes to mind (laughed). But when you take it cures. I have taken a few pills for who… Bilguunee. I now have them. Then I told Chuka about it, but she said to me never mind, never mind I’ll see some other good people or something this sort. She (Khaidy) gave me two or three of those white pills.

Byambajavв -

Then can I take them, if you have.

Badamgerel -

The pills should be at my home among my things. I took them to give Bilguunee. I think Chuka herself met her and the pills were conveyed through me. I don’t exactly remember whether they met or not. May be the teacher told it, anyway it had an adjective (modifier) for Bilguunee.(laughed) There are two or three white pills. f now he is feeling good probably there is no need of it (цагаан болцон?) you don’t need it, yes?

Byambajavв -

Well, I don’t know.

Badamgerel -

Tsermaa bagsh told me that he was feeling very good.(0-53-36-38) Let them remain here (laughed). There is no need to give many pills simultaneously, is there?

If she comes again this year why don’t you meet her in person. Yes, three of you should come, she is my close good friend. Yes, she is. She pays a lot of attention to me.

Byambajavв -

Do doctors from outside come to your organization and make medical examinations and give drugs and injections to the patients?

Badamgerel -

Only Khaidy comes. When Khaidy comes she examines patients in this room, and gives from those pills. Then, it is the state of mind of the person that most probably responds to that pills, this is what I think. Aa, and we have several projects in Undurshil soum of Dundgovi aimag, explanation of Buddhist religion, training on felt art and in all three projects are being implemented in Undurshil. Foreigners give contribution to these projects, including equipments, drugs and pills. Puujee teacher whenever he comes during the summer gives substantial material and moral assistance to welfare centre for children and prisons. He visits prisons, prisons for women, prisons for men and children’s prisons. Aa, welfare centre for children has two groups, groups for junior and adolescent children. Summer camp for junior and adolescent groups is situated in Khnadgait, he visits the centre talks with the children, play with them, distribute candies and fruits thus spends the whole day in joy.

Byambajavв -

What kind of charity activities you personally think your organization should carry out in future?

Badamgerel -

I think that all the activities we carry out now meet the requirements of people and serve as a foundation to boost their spirit…mmm…improve their livelihood. So we would continue these activities, to help them psychologically we read the lectures on (Buddhidst) philosophy, teach various living skill thus support their livelihood. We also help and cheer up those depressed emotionally.(laughed) Then…if the people concerned are determined (to change their life), our activities will bolster them, they themselves will rise up.(cleared her throat) We also had a visit of American students. American students, students from Cambridge University, a students of geography Charlotte also came. Then it happened that she also attends a psychological course. One day she asked me… to go together to see the suburbs of the city so we went together then we had a real fun. I took her to the summer camp and showed our house I wanted to show her “This is how we live and show the true picture of it”. So I took her to our summer house, hard to say it is a house, to our wooden cabin. Then the most laughable thing was that I left the key in car and slammed door locking it. Cold rain was pouring, two of us were ice cold, so we climbed up the Maikhan tolgoi (name of a place Tent hillock) that mount and called to Batsukk who was in the city. What shall I do, locked my keys inside the car I told him. Charlotte asked from me a lot of questions: Where were you… born, how did you pass your childhood, how about your adolescence and your young age, when did you enter the next stage, now in which stage you are in etc. She did not tape record it but was writing down in hand. Since I don’t know English, I talked a lot in my broken English. If I expressed my idea more or less in approximation she would grasp the meaning. So we spoke more or less by using our hands and really showed each other how to communicate. Yeah… and I asked for what purpose she was doing it. She replied we make research material of history using these notes. So when Chuka told me (about this interview) I thought it was something of that sort. Is it, right?

Byambajavв -

Yes, it is.

Badamgerel -

Yeah

Byambajavв -

Similar

Badamgerel -

It is a similar thing, isn’t it? Yeah…she also did exactly like this asked me (cleared her throat) to speak about my life, my childhood, asked to remember father and mother, since they were dead a person (myself) will be sad and sighs, then she draws a line and continues. So she writes down everything in her own hand, that student made round marks on the two sides of her notes. Then at the beginning… I was rather surprised to see what she was writing and why she was writing it down, she asked me where I was born, what were the names of my father and mother, what kind of family I had. When I said ours was a family of cattle breeder, she wrote it down. So seeing that I was surprised she later explained me. But the funny side was that we were standing in the cold rain, our keys locked in the car, waiting for people to come from the city, thinking that Batsukh will….come… and bring the spare key. Then when we were standing two or three jeep cars arrived, one of man came out and tried by his own key, it fitted perfectly and opened the car door. So we came back…

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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.