Garamhand


Basic information
Interviewee ID: 990297
Name: Garamhand
Parent's name: Janaa
Ovog: Magsarjav
Sex: f
Year of Birth: 1934
Ethnicity: Halh

Additional Information
Education: incomplete secondary
Notes on education: graduated 7th grade
Work: retired
Belief: none
Born in: Hutag-Öndör sum, Bulgan aimag
Lives in: Bayan-Öndör sum (or part of UB), Orhon aimag
Mother's profession: herder (milkmaid)
Father's profession: herder


Themes for this interview are:
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work; keepsakes / material culture; military;

Alternative keywords suggested by readers for this interview are: (Please click on a keyword to see more interviews, if any, on that topic)

railway; trade / shops; photography; Hatanbaatar Magsarjav;

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Please click to read an English summary of this interview

Please click to read the Mongolian transcription of this interview

Translation:



The Oral History of Twentieth Century Mongolia

Khishigsüren -

I suppose that people working for trade organizations sometimes had to deal with the problem of losses, right?

Garamhand -

Yes, they had. In our section, we had vodka and flour together, and things constantly disappeared.

Khishigsüren -

Ah.

Garamhand -

When we did the quarterly inventories, something was always missing. The largest deficit we ever had amounted to 20.000 Tögrög.

Khishigsüren -

They carried the goods away at night.

Garamhand -

Well, one night they arrested them. People working in trade earned little, but they had a lot of responsibility…

Khishigsüren -

Ah.

Garamhand -

Nowadays it’s wonderful. You have your own things and you can do with them as you wish.

Khishigsüren -

Ah. When I was a child, the woman who worked as bookkeeper in the store in the sum had run up debts. Either her father or her elder brother had taken sacks of…what was it again? I think it was bones or iron. Anyways, she had run up more than 100.000 Tögrög of debts It was frightening.

Garamhand -

When people were indebted, they would pay back their debts with huge amounts of salt and wild onions. They would estimate the value and accept it.

Khishigsüren -

Also local people would help those who had run up debts to pay them back, right?

Garamhand -

You couldn’t pay them back in cash.

Khishigsüren -

Right.

Garamhand -

Once when I came back from holidays, Pürevsüren was not there. She had incurred a debt of more than 20.000 Tögrög, which she paid back with a truckload of wild onions from Ikh-Uul in Hövsgöl.

Khishigsüren -

Ah.

Garamhand -

She also delivered salt to pay back her debts. She had many children. She paid back her debts.

Khishigsüren -

How did trade workers get into debts? Because they took the goods themselves or because they were irresponsible?

Garamhand -

Because they were irresponsible, even though of course some were swindlers. And some simply didn’t have the necessary knowledge.

Khishigsüren -

Ah.

Garamhand -

They didn’t know how to do the calculations. And all of a sudden, at the end of the month or the quarter they were indebted, because they hadn’t done their daily accounts.

Khishigsüren -

Please tell me one thing. In the old days we had those terrible queues.

Garamhand -

Right.

Khishigsüren -

These weren’t only queues in government offices to get the pension, right? Why did we have those queues? And for which goods?

Garamhand -

Who knows? Maybe there were many people, or the organization was too slow. In Ulaanbaatar there was a really long queue for meat. We used to queue the whole day. The meat would arrive late, so we would queue and get one kilo of meat. Some stores had limitations for some goods. Others were all right. Nobody bought large amounts, because we didn’t have refrigerators to store it at home. So we bought only what we needed for one meal.

Khishigsüren -

Maybe the supplies were low, what do you think?

Garamhand -

At that time, there were only two goods depots in Ulaanbaatar. So of course, the supplies were low and there were many people in the city. But in the countryside it was different, in sums and province centers they slaughtered every day.

Khishigsüren -

Ah.

Garamhand -

Then the meat was sold.

Khishigsüren -

The meat queue was massive.

Garamhand -

Yes, the meat queue was massive. The others were OK.

Khishigsüren -

When rare goods came in, things went berserk, right?

Garamhand -

Oh, yes, it was terrible. Queues were enormous.

Khishigsüren -

People had money, but there were no goods to buy.

Garamhand -

No goods, no supplies.

Khishigsüren -

Of course goods were imported from Russia. What other countries were goods imported from?

Garamhand -

We imported from Russia.

Khishigsüren -

Did we import from China? How about Hungary and Czechoslovakia?

Garamhand -

No. In the end we imported a small number of goods from China, but in the old days we were completely dependent on Russia.

Khishigsüren -

Ah. How did the supplies match people’s purchasing power? Were people able to buy the things they wanted even though goods were in short supply?

Garamhand -

Well, at that time people didn’t buy large amounts. They bought what they needed. A sack of flour cost 70 Tögrög then.

Khishigsüren -

Ah.

Garamhand -

It would last for a long time, so you didn’t have to buy it by the kilo.

Khishigsüren -

Let’s change the subject of our conversation. What did your husband do? As I understood, you followed your husband everywhere?

Garamhand -

In 1961, no in 1967, he graduated from the Teachers College in history and geography.

Khishigsüren -

Ah.

Garamhand -

So he was under the Department for Education. Originally we wanted to live in the city. Because before we had lived in Dornogov’, I had developed a strong dislike for the Gobi.

Khishigsüren -

When did you marry?

Garamhand -

We married in 1956.

Khishigsüren -

You two married in 1956. So you were 21, 22…

Garamhand -

We were together until 2002.

Khishigsüren -

When you first met him, what was he doing then?

Garamhand -

He was working for the railway.

Khishigsüren -

In Ulaanbaatar?

Garamhand -

Ah. He started working as a railwayman when he was 17. Later he attended some training courses and became brigade leader. When we married, he was foreman. Then he was sent to work in the Gobi, in Choir. He also worked in Maan’t, and in Ulaan-Üd close to Zamyn Üüd. We lived there.

Khishigsüren -

Ah.

Garamhand -

The Gobi is a terrible place, you know.

Khishigsüren -

At that time, you didn’t work, right?

Garamhand -

I also worked for the railway. In a small cafeteria. As a cook, but I didn’t have anything stable. But when I came to the city, I worked in the carpet factory for 17 years.

Khishigsüren -

How was the life of those who worked for the Mongolian railway, those who followed it in the 1950s?

Garamhand -

The railway paid the highest salaries at that time. It was considered to offer the best benefits. They looked after their workers really well. They provided good housing. For example, when we were living in the Gobi in a really small place in the countryside, a shop van full of goods would come twice a month.

Khishigsüren -

Ah.

Garamhand -

The railway was considered to be the best working place. Nowadays people say that they pay the lowest salaries. It should be better.

Khishigsüren -

So with regards to their income, those working for the railway had a rather good life. But considering that the population in those places was so small, what about kindergartens, schools and hospitals? What were social relations like?

Garamhand -

There were no hospitals in those small places. And there were no kindergartens either. Children stayed at home.

Khishigsüren -

Ah.

Garamhand -

However, when we lived in the south, the place had been newly established and many families came from the western provinces.

Khishigsüren -

Ah.

Garamhand -

They were new workers and they were mostly from the western provinces. I was young then and I didn’t understand their language. Those Dörvöd darga spoke with a really heavy accent, you know.

Khishigsüren -

Yes, yes. At Choir and Zamyn Üüd there was the border. Did the travelers go there by train?

Garamhand -

Oh, there were many passengers. At that time, there were a lot of Russians working there and there was a lot of Russian trade. The Russian stores had lots of goods.

Khishigsüren -

Ah.

Garamhand -

Whatever you wanted, it was there. Compared to other places, it was wonderful.

Khishigsüren -

Ah. So your husband was working for the railway and later he entered the Teachers College?

Garamhand -

Right.

Khishigsüren -

How old was he when he went to college?

Garamhand -

Oh, he was in his twenties. I’m not sure how old he was exactly, but I think 25 or 26. We had lived in the south and then we went to the city, where he worked for the railway as a specialist. Since he had only finished 7th grade and he had no other education, he wanted to continue to study. One ah of his was the headmaster of the Teachers College. He told him to enter the college and so my husband did.

Khishigsüren -

What was his name?

Garamhand -



Khishigsüren -

Aa? All right, so he graduated from the Teachers College in 1967 and then where…?

Garamhand -

Then they tried to chase him to Altanshiree Sum in Dornogov’ to work as schoolmaster. He didn’t want to go, but at that time the Ministry of Education used to appoint people directly. However, we didn’t go. One day we thought again about whether to go to the Gobi. It was tough to live there. There was a military unit in Tolgoit and he was offered to work there as a party something… as a party instructor. We decided to go and stayed there for a few years. And from there we went to Bulgan in 1975…

Khishigsüren -

Ah.

Garamhand -

After that he was always appointed to work at state farms, then he became chairman of a cooperative, and then he retired.

Khishigsüren -

Ah. What was he appointed to do in Bulgan?

Garamhand -

As the head of the construction office.

Khishigsüren -

This construction office…did every province center have an office of the construction trust?

Garamhand -

Yes.

Khishigsüren -

Did the provincial construction trust erect buildings not only in the province centers but also in the sums?

Garamhand -

Yes, it did. They went to Saikhan to build the club and the school. They also built a well there.

Khishigsüren -

Ah.

Garamhand -

They usually built really big buildings. In the province center, too.

Khishigsüren -

Ah. How could a person, who had graduated from the Teachers College all of a sudden become the director?

Garamhand -

Well, also before he had been a party leader. And when he did his practical training he did so as a teacher.

Khishigsüren -

Ah.

Garamhand -

When he graduated he was appointed as headmaster, but he refused and didn’t go. Then he worked in a leading position at the military unit and from then on he always occupied leading positions.

Khishigsüren -

Ah. You said that you lived on a state farm. In what year was that and which state farm?

Garamhand -

He was the party secretary at the Magsarjav State Farm for six years, and then he worked at the Gachuurt State Farm for another six years.

Khishigsüren -

Please tell me about life on a state farm. How and why were the state farms established in that period? What did your husband do there as a party secretary?

Garamhand -

In the later days, eleven state farms were established for land reclamation and cultivation of grain.

Khishigsüren -

Ah.

Garamhand -

As for Gachuurt, the main product was milk. There was no grain.

Khishigsüren -

Ah.

Garamhand -

But in Honhor they grew fodder.

Khishigsüren -

Ah.

Garamhand -

Fodder for dairy farms.

Khishigsüren -

Ah.

Garamhand -

In order to produce milk. The cows in Gachuurt gave a lot of milk, you know. People talked with each other like this:‘Oh, my cow doesn’t give much milk.’ ‘How many liters does she give?’ ‘Oh, only 8,5 liters.’ When milking by hand, people would get more than one 10-liter bucket full of milk, maybe 12, 13 liters. That’s cows with a lot of milk…

Khishigsüren -

Ah.

Garamhand -

And there were also mechanized farms. There the cows were milked with a milking machine.

Khishigsüren -

Ah.

Garamhand -

Now they are all closed.

Khishigsüren -

Was the Gachuurt State Farm able to satisfy Ulaanbaatar’s demand for milk on its own?

Garamhand -

It almost did. It almost satisfied the demand. But there was also the Batsümber State Farm further in the north, which had two mechanized farms.

Khishigsüren -

Ah.

Garamhand -

Also Gachuurt had two mechanized farms. So it was those two state farms that produced the milk for Ulaanbaatar. However, individual people didn’t have milk, maybe because they delivered it to a factory where they produced cream.

Khishigsüren -

Ah. So the farms provided the city with normal milk. Tell me about the state farms. How and when were the mechanized farms established? What was the daily work on a dairy farm?

Garamhand -

I don’t know when they were established. I only know when they were broken apart and privatized.

Khishigsüren -

Ah.

Garamhand -

It was very nice. It was broken up when we had a lot of milk.

Khishigsüren -

What kind of buildings did it have and how many people worked there?

Garamhand -

It had a very long building. I don’t know how many meters. Inside the building, the cows were standing in individual boxes facing each other. When you pressed a button, water came in. Also the fodder was distributed automatically. That’s how the cows were kept.

Khishigsüren -

Ah.

Garamhand -

The excrements were flushed away from behind.

Khishigsüren -

Ah.

Garamhand -

It was wonderful.

Khishigsüren -

Ah ah. So generally the financial assets and the equipment were really good?

Garamhand -

Yes, it was wonderful. I think the cows came from Germany.

Khishigsüren -

I guess it was quite difficult to breed them, right?

Garamhand -

The cows would never calve in spring, it was such a farm…

Khishigsüren -

Ah.

Garamhand -

But they calved continuously in winter and in summer. They were inseminated artificially and then they calved again.

Khishigsüren -

Ah.

Garamhand -

So they gave milk throughout the summers and the winters. The milk tankers would transport the milk to the city day and night. I think those two state farms satisfied the city’s demand.

Khishigsüren -

Ah. What did you do at the state farm? You followed your husband there, right?

Garamhand -

Well, in Gachuurt I worked as a cook. That’s what I did…

Khishigsüren -

Ah.

Garamhand -

When we went to the north to my homeland I worked at a school.

Khishigsüren -

You had followed your husband there.

Garamhand -

Ah. I worked at the school library, making the children read books.

Khishigsüren -

Ah. (laughs) So in what year did you arrive at the Magsarjav State Farm?

Garamhand -

I arrived in 1975 and in 1989…

Khishigsüren -

You arrived there in 1979, right?

Garamhand -

Yes, in 1979. And I left in 1984.

Khishigsüren -

So you came back to your homeland after so many years. What did you find there? Where there still people you knew?

Garamhand -

Yes, there were.

Khishigsüren -

Ah

Garamhand -

Coming back to my own homeland was wonderful. Coming closer it looked beautiful, like an acquaintance.

Khishigsüren -

Ah.

Garamhand -

The older one is the more wonderful it is to return to one’s homeland.

Khishigsüren -

Ah. The wife of an appointed leader could always find a job, right?

Garamhand -

Yes, well, I could find a job.

Khishigsüren -

Ah.

Garamhand -

Anyway there were jobs. When I returned to my homeland in Bulgan I worked in the trade sector. Then they told me to work in the trade sector again, but I said ‘No, I don’t want to do it again.’ So I went to work at the school and made children read books. That’s what I wanted to do.

Khishigsüren -

Working at a school must be very nice.

Garamhand -

Well, I just made the children read.

Khishigsüren -

Ah.

Garamhand -

Some of the children would read and others would always stand up and fight with each other.

Khishigsüren -

You were a kind of coordinator, right?

Garamhand -

Right. I gave them the books when they came in, and I took the books back when they left.

Khishigsüren -

How well did the children read at that time?

Garamhand -

They read fairly well, you know.

Khishigsüren -

Ah. What kind of books did they read?

Garamhand -

They mostly liked to read literature.

Khishigsüren -

Ah. Did the school library have quite a variety of different genres? How was the supply of books compared to the city?

Garamhand -

Oh, there were only a few books.

Khishigsüren -

A few?

Garamhand -

But they matched the need of the children in the sum.

Khishigsüren -

Ah. After to that you went to the Gachuurt State Farm, right?

Garamhand -

I worked as a cook in a hotel.

Khishigsüren -

Did you cook well?

Garamhand -

Yes, not too bad. Since I didn’t have any profession I did what I could do.

Khishigsüren -

Aha. Let’s talk about something else.

Garamhand -

Yes.

Khishigsüren -

Who is the person next to the portrait of Hatanbaatar Magsarjav?

Garamhand -

My mother.

Khishigsüren -

Is she your biological mother?

Garamhand -

Yes, my mother.

Khishigsüren -

So whose biological sister is she? Who was Hatanbaatar Magsarjav’s younger sister again?

Garamhand -

She is now in Ualaanbaatar. Her picture isn’t here.

Khishigsüren -

So she is that person. What is this behind the picture? That’s silk that is put behind the Buddha statues, right? Why is that?

Garamhand -

Well, that’s Güngervaa, a big divinity. When I was a child my father gave it to me and told me to take of the cloth. So that’s what I did.

Khishigsüren -

What year was that?

Garamhand -

Oh, I don’t know. I was like this girl.

Khishigsüren -

So that is the silk that was behind the statue of Güngervaa?

Garamhand -

I gave some part of it to Gerelsüh’s mother.

Khishigsüren -

Ah. That means it contains a lot of dharani, right?

Garamhand -

I suppose so. When there were shortages, I used to edge deels with it. It used to be very big. Also my mother used it to edge deels.

Khishigsüren -

Ah.

Garamhand -

But later it started losing color, so we stopped using it and I put it behind the picture.

Khishigsüren -

Ah

Garamhand -

Thinking about it now, I realize that one shouldn’t carelessly use those sacred things. It has dragon patterns.

Khishigsüren -

You took it in the 1940s, right?

Garamhand -

I was 6 years old.

Khishigsüren -

So it was in 1941.

Garamhand -

Oh, yes.

Khishigsüren -

It’s good silk. You don’t know from when it is, right?

Garamhand -

No, I don’t, but it’s from before that. Generally, all these items of worship had been commissioned by Utaa Gümben. That’s what my grandmother used to say.

Khishigsüren -

Ah.

Garamhand -

All the offerings that had been given to the divinity remained at our place. Into this beautiful pink glass bowl my mother used to put candies. At that time, candies were really rare. I used to take and eat some when my mother went out to milk the animals.

Khishigsüren -

Ah.

Garamhand -

This is it.

Khishigsüren -

Is this object with the dragon also old?

Garamhand -

You mean this plate?

Khishigsüren -

Ah.

Garamhand -

No, it’s a modern one.

Khishigsüren -

I see. Down there that is your picture, right? It’s an enlarged photo, right?

Garamhand -

Yes.

Khishigsüren -

When did you have this picture taken?

Garamhand -

That’s from when we had the socialist labor brigade. We were told to have our photos taken. That was in the ‘60s.

Khishigsüren -

Ah. This is also interesting. At that time photos were enlarged in Russia, right?

Garamhand -

Right.

Khishigsüren -

The students who went to Russia took them…

Garamhand -

Ah.

Khishigsüren -

And they brought back the enlargements.

Garamhand -

My husband went to the north many times.

Khishigsüren -

Ah.

Garamhand -

He attended a course in Moscow for forty days, and he had it enlarged there.

Khishigsüren -

Yes, it was like that. These pictures could be found in people’s homes until the end of the ‘80s, but now it seems that they are disappearing. There was that culture of enlarging photos…

Garamhand -

That…what was his name?...the one who used to live in the center of the three Hailantaa. When he went to Dornod during the Liberation War, he built an ovoo in Gurtyn Hötöl. It still exists.

Khishigsüren -

Ah.

Garamhand -

Now they have built a fence and it was renovated. I visited it two years ago.

Khishigsüren -

So did you go to Hutag-Öndör, to the land of origin of your forefathers to build an ovoo and offer incense? People do such things.

Garamhand -

Yes.

Khishigsüren -

Did you follow such a custom?

Garamhand -

No, we don’t. But when we pass by the Gurtyn Hötöl Ovoo, I make offerings.

Khishigsüren -

When you go to your homeland now, do you think that the environment has changed compared to how it was when you were a child in 1979? Or has it remained the same?

Garamhand -

It’s all right, it hasn’t changed.

Khishigsüren -

Have the place and river names changed?

Garamhand -

No, they haven’t changed?

Khishigsüren -

They are still the same?

Garamhand -

Ah.

Khishigsüren -

Is there anything in your homeland that has changed from the time of your childhood?

Garamhand -

No, we don’t have any mines there. The trees haven’t been cut. It’s still as it was before.

Khishigsüren -

Ah. May I see that statuette of Lenin? What a strange thing the bust of Lenin is, don’t you think? In the old days, every family and every office used to have one, right?

Garamhand -

Right. Is it copper? It is copper. When we used to live in the north in Hutagt, our patron was a Russian Buryat state farm. We would invite them often, and I went there a lot. They came a lot, too, and they would give us this as a present.

Khishigsüren -

When they came to your home?

Garamhand -

No, to the chairman of the cooperative.

Khishigsüren -

Ah. Many people got rid of these statuettes and pictures, but you still have them.

Garamhand -

Sometimes I want to throw it away but then I think that I might as well keep it.

Khishigsüren -

You have that picture in which Lenin holds a child in his arms. When I was little people told me that Lenin had come and taken me on his arms, and I believed it. Many people used to have that picture. Do you have other things that you rarely show to people and to which memories are attached? Could you show me the album from which you have just taken those photos and explain the pictures to me? Would you tell me about the album? It is made of leather.

Garamhand -

Yes, leather. When he went to Germany…

Khishigsüren -

When did your husband go to Germany? Oh, here is written ‘1980’

Garamhand -

Oh, yes, in 1980. When he visited the factories, they took photos of him, put them into this album and gave it to him.

Khishigsüren -

As a souvenir, right?

Garamhand -

Our province leader was called Sara, he was Kazak.

Khishigsüren -

Ah.

Garamhand -

Then there was Gochoo, a member of the party committee. The three of them went to Germany together.

Khishigsüren -

Look! There are photos of all sorts of procedures of that period, right?

Garamhand -

Yes.

Khishigsüren -

If the owner of this album was here, he could tell us a great deal of history with this album.

Garamhand -

When I went in 1989, I visited three cities.

Khishigsüren -

You? For what purpose did you go to Germany?

Garamhand -

I went there as a tourist. My husband was a delegate to the 18th Congress. This picture was taken then.

Khishigsüren -

There’s Gürragchaa baatar.

Garamhand -

Yes.

Khishigsüren -

I think Ganzorig is there too.

Garamhand -

Yes. There are both of them.

Khishigsüren -

Both of them. So both were delegates to the18th Congress of the MPRP?

Garamhand -

Yes, the 18th Congress.

Khishigsüren -

There are Udval guai, Tsegmid guai and Gurragchaa baatar. Your husband’s photo is this one, right?

Garamhand -

Right.

Khishigsüren -

Well, Udval guai had been a famous woman.

Garamhand -

My husband participated in the Congress, but the chairman of the state farm was Ginaajav.

Khishigsüren -

Ah.

Garamhand -

He became member of the parliament.

Khishigsüren -

Look, here is a picture taken with soldiers and officials.

Garamhand -

It was taken when he worked for the military unit.

Khishigsüren -

Photos of soldiers were taken in this way, right? The young people who went to serve in the military all came back with such a photo. Then there are more pictures of Germany. These are officials. Here he is visiting a factory to learn from their experiences, right?

Garamhand -

Right.

Khishigsüren -

Look, here is the actor Gantömör bagsh.

Garamhand -

Who?

Khishigsüren -

Gantömör?

Garamhand -

Yes, he is there.

Khishigsüren -

Here he is not next to a monument. I have interviewed many people, but have never seen a photo of someone who is in the middle of doing something. This is very special. People who go abroad usually have their photos taken next to a monument or on a square. These picture here are very interesting, because they show all kinds of work processes.

Garamhand -

This is a photo of the milkers at the state farm.

Khishigsüren -

Yes. This picture has been enlarged, right?

Garamhand -

Yes.

Khishigsüren -

What’s this?

Garamhand -

This man walking across the field is the general agronomist of the state farm. He had this picture taken during an official trip as party secretary.

Khishigsüren -

In a field of grain, right? Well, this album is quite something! I find some photos in it really interesting. This here seems to be a real photo of Hatanbaatar Magsarjav.

Garamhand -

Ah.

Khishigsüren -

He wears an üiten huar deel and in the background there is a flag. It is quite faded, when was it taken? How did you get hold of it?

Garamhand -

Someone gave it to us. He is next to a flag, right?

Khishigsüren -

Yes, and in front of the flag there is something written in Mongolian, not vertically but horizontally. What photo is this and when was it taken?

Garamhand -

This one was taken in 1961. It is my husbands elder sister, they had this picture taken together.

Khishigsüren -

Both are wearing the same deel. This is him, right?

Garamhand -

Ah.

Khishigsüren -

This is a very interesting picture. Maybe from the ‘20s or ‘30s…

Garamhand -

It’s a picture taken in 1956.

Khishigsüren -

1956? But they are wearing boots with white soles and sheep skin deels…

Garamhand -

Yes.

Khishigsüren -

This is one of those photos, where they hung something up to create a background. Here they are wearing something like Kazak costumes, who are these people?

Garamhand -

The one standing is my husband’s sister…

Khishigsüren -

People used this hamba a lot to make clothes for their children, right?

Garamhand -

Right.

Khishigsüren -

Who is this in leather clothes?

Garamhand -

His younger brother…

Khishigsüren -

Ah. Almost all Mongolian women wore such headkerchiefs when they had their photo taken.

Garamhand -

Ah.

Khishigsüren -

I guess that was the fashion at that time.

Garamhand -

This is the graduation photo of the Teachers College.

Khishigsüren -

All right. These photos are more recent.

Garamhand -

This photo was taken in the 1990s.

Khishigsüren -

Ah. When did you come to live in Erdenet?

Garamhand -

In 1993.

Khishigsüren -

In 1993. May I see this picture? People used to wear deels and headkerchiefs and the men wore such hats, right? This is from the beginning of the ‘70s or the end of the ‘90s, right? It was taken at a summer resort. If you had it enlarged, it would be very beautiful. This is your mother’s elder sister. And this is you.

Garamhand -

This is at the Hond resort in Sühbaatar. We used to go there during the holidays.

Khishigsüren -

Here is another picture. It shows how they give this..what do you call it… of the state champion herder to him outside his ger.

Garamhand -

This is the award for the local champion milker. There is Sara darga there.

Khishigsüren -

Ah.

Garamhand -

He was the province leader, Sara.

Khishigsüren -

Ah. I found this thing here. It’s a certificate. ‘The Nairamdal district party committee…to Tömörbat from the party…

Garamhand -

Yes.

Khishigsüren -

He was given this certificate in occasion of his election as district party delegate. It is really neat. The paper is really good and the print too. Here is your husband wearing felt boots. Man: In the upper corner that’s me with my parents and my elder sister.

Garamhand -

Yes.

Khishigsüren -

You mean this? You look like your mother.

Garamhand -

Yes, just the same.

Khishigsüren -

Yes. This is how we Mongolians take photos of our children. This is a newspaper article entitled ‘The Party Secretary of the Magsarjav State Farm’. This is an album with very interesting photos. Is there anything else that you would like to talk about? What were the events that left traces in your life?

Garamhand -

Aa?

Khishigsüren -

Is there any event in your life that deeply affected you?

Garamhand -

No, there isn’t.

Khishigsüren -

Why do you think there is none? (laughs)

Garamhand -

There simply is none. I don’t remember.

Khishigsüren -

You don’t remember? Was there anything special, unusual? It slips your mind, right?

Garamhand -

Yes.

Khishigsüren -

Just think about it. I will ask you whether you remember. So let’s end the interview.

Garamhand -

All right.

Khishigsüren -

All right.

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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.