Sedjav


Basic information
Interviewee ID: 990498
Name: Sedjav
Parent's name: Genden
Ovog: Sharnuud
Sex: m
Year of Birth: 1938
Ethnicity: Halh

Additional Information
Education: tusgai dund
Notes on education:
Work: retired
Belief: Buddhist
Born in: Tsagaanhairhan sum, Zavhan aimag
Lives in: Uliastai sum (or part of UB), Zavhan aimag
Mother's profession: herder
Father's profession: herder


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family; education / cultural production; herding / livestock; work; childhood;

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Translation:



The Oral History of Twentieth Century Mongolia

Erdenetuya -

Well let’s begin our conversation.

Sedjav -

When we were young, children’s upbringing was extremely good, I am going to speak about children.

Erdenetuya -

Well-behaved.

Sedjav -

I was born at the end of 1930’s.

Erdenetuya -

Ааn.

Sedjav -

Аh my uncle, a man called Ravjaa, served in the army and after 5 years serving in the army he fell ill and returned home - he used to teach us literacy.

Erdenetuya -

Aanhan.

Sedjav -

At home he taught us old Mongolian script, new script, and mathematics - simple mathematics. My uncle was an old herdsman by the name of Davaagiin Damdin. That old man from the 1950’s had been elected deputy to People’s Great Hural three times for over 10 years, in the beginning the term was for three years and later it was still three years so he was a herdsman who served over 10 years (as a member of PGH). Since I was brought up by these people I have many memories.

Erdenetuya -

Aanhan.

Sedjav -

Аh they taught me what to say to others, what I should say when, where and to whom and I came to understand their upbringing. When a child exclaimed, “oh here comes a man on horseback!” my uncle who was ill would say “your eye sight is really sharp.” He made fun saying it was impossible to see whether the man was riding a horse or a mare. So we had to say that a rider was coming.

Erdenetuya -

Say it that way.

Sedjav -

We were supposed to say that that but we’d say a horse rider was coming. There is a common expression among Mongols to say this way.

Erdenetuya -

Aanhan.

Sedjav -

They’d say a horse rider or camel rider. Therefore I since my childhood understood that I should observe carefully and one should master the art of conversation, if you say something wrong or convey the wrong message it is taken by the other always wrongly or badly. I became literate and knowledgeable in mathematics before attending school. In those days there was a propagandist of 10 households. My father was trade agent of the bag (district). My uncle was the propagandist of 10 households. He held that elective office. He’d say “Sonny, visit the households on this side and find out whether there was any loss of livestock. Ask those households whether they have any suggestions or proposals to make to the sum and bag. Ask about it.” I was a propagandist in the beginning, later a relay coachman. These jobs were of great interest to me. What I’d learned as a child was very useful to me at different stages of my studies in various schools, where I was mastering a profession. Such an upbringing as a child from a young age, from preschool days, had left it’s imprint in my mind. I recalled what my uncle said, I was scolded for saying such a thing to a such man etc. So I think that if today’s children of preschool age were to have 100 per cent access to kindergarten, it would do the same job as the rearing that I got at home that I am so grateful for, and since I am working with children at present I dream that if possible it would be great if countryside children had the same 100 per cent access. My uncle organized what was called the hural or meeting of the households. What they now call children’s parliament was realized 70 years ago by my uncle in the households of herders in the countryside. He organized what was called the “Children’s hural of the households”. I was permanently elected as the chairman of that hural. Because firstly, I was a bit older, secondly, I was literate and could speak out and express myself. I think it was because I was able to understand what others said and was also able to convey my ideas to others. So I had been elected chairman of the neighboring households’ children and chairman of the hural of children of neighboring households. Ah then I had many other elective posts such as chairman of the hygiene commission of children of neighboring households and chairman of these households children. In the beginning the children caused quite a problem by not learning to abide by elective posts and jobs, by getting used to the order. Later they all learned and became fond of it and all became very active. I think about the present socially active youth and children that had become socially active in their preschool days as we did in the past. Well, I used to see my uncle very often saying that we’d like to call a meeting of children of the households. I’d say there was a problem and start the meeting. It was the time of war, the trade agent sold to herders 3kg flour, 500 grams per family member, flour was distributed this way. My father was the trade agent and he used distribute that among the people. When my father went to sum my uncle would do the job. We had a small ger, our uncle had a bigger ger. The agent goods were stored in his ger. There was a small table, it was called a Buddha table. His only daughter passed away last year. They had a Buddha table. 3 children sat there. The chairman of the hural sat in the middle. The other two members of presidium sat either side of him - 3 persons who would preside the hural of the children of the households. My uncle would announce the opening of the meeting and then members of the presidium were invited to the table. Our uncle never worshipped religion, he was a hunter, he slaughtered animals for food. That was why his Buddha table was used for meeting.

“Come and sit. The chairman and members of the presidium should sit at this table”, he would say.

“What is the agenda of the meeting, what will the topic for discussion be? Chairman, members. Chairman, please tell us”, he would demand. Later when I was working my colleagues used to say that I had been talkative and eloquent since childhood. He proposed to discuss sanitary issues at the children’s meeting. “Yes, let’s discuss the sanitary issue.” When they were asked to report what problem they were going to discuss. There was a woman whom we called Ania. Comrade Ania always taught us to pour ashes of households there, garbage over there, collect cow dung and tip it over there, clean stones and put in a circle etc. But this time a girl said you are scooping the flour and grain for distribution to the people using the scooper used for collecting garbage.

Then my uncle said:, “Teaching children you encounter difficulties.” I was so ashamed it was as if my face was burning, she said it in front of so many people. He asked me to call his wife and said to throw the scooper out and to bring me the plate. He said “when iron is polished, it becomes shiny”, he said he couldn’t find anything more. How he would use that scooper for distribution of grains to people. That was how we were taught. That was how a child was brought up from his early years. It was the right thing. Our folks of Tsagaanhairhan, people of my age understood and knew about it. They told each other there was a norm among children, children of that family did this or that, their child was told so etc. Then came the time to enter school. When I started school I was able to solve simple mathematical problems, I could read books, I could write, I could take part in an interview, and take note of the conversation and tell it to the adults. That was why I had no difficulty in school.

Erdenetuya -

No difficulty.

Sedjav -

Yes, no difficulty. A man called Myangarga who had been a judge in our aimag, later retired on pension and had been a truck driver until his death, he was my teacher in the first grade. Then after fifth grade I came to the aimag centre to continue my studies. I was missing my home quite a bit. And things didn’t go very smoothly. I could no longer be an excellent student. I just today told a child that I did not like two subjects very much. One was the old Mongolian script. I was an unlucky fellow as far as Mongolian script was concerned. We studied it in 5th grade for the first time. I was good at memorizing, I could take a look and keep it in my memory but I could not memorize the Mongolian script. For example there was three different forms of the letter A, for in the beginning, in the middle and at the end of a word. Since I was a child I was confused by it. “A” in the middle of a word had a different “tooth”. Then I did not learn Russian at all. I was a very shy child. And was afraid to pronounce Russian words because of the fear that I’d pronounce it wrongly and could not learn the language. Much later thanks to the youth organization I’d set my feet on Russian soil four times. And I always had an interpreter. I could ask him to buy me this or that. But those who were not shy could speak regardless of whether they expressed themselves wrongly or not, they were a laughing stock but still laughed and could buy what they wanted. Just few minutes ago I was telling a child about it.

Erdenetuya -

Ааn.

Sedjav -

I was not good in subjects and missed my home very much. I was a pampered child of our family. So my success had slightly dropped. However, I was praised as a good Pioneer, and good member of the youth league, I received rewards at the end of every quarter as a good student, while studying in primary school. I was admitted to the membership of the Youth League here while attending the ten year school named after Eldev-Ochir.

Erdenetuya -

Ааn.

Sedjav -

And after being admitted to the Youth League, though I was only a student with satisfactory marks, I became secretary of the Youth League. Probably my energetic activity was appreciated. I think so. At the meeting of the aimag youth committee I told them that I had 2 satisfactory marks. I reported them so. How could you improve your study they asked me. I promised to correct satisfactory marks with good marks, I fulfilled my promise and became a member of the youth league. I had a desire to become a member. At that time, my children, those organizations, children’s and youth organizations worked very closely with their members, with the youth. By joining the youth league and later working as chairman of the youth committee I learned a lot, it helped me a lot during my years of work with youths and children’s organizations. That children’s meeting of sum households which my uncle taught me how to preside, all these were good experiences. At least I knew that for a meeting there should be chairman and members of the presidium to preside at the meeting.

Erdenetuya -

Аан.

Sedjav -

Since my childhood it was set in my brain that when you preside a meeting there should be a report and resolution. There should also be a protocol of the meeting. That was why I had no difficulties working as the youth committee chairman. Then I left school and went to the countryside. It was also interesting. My father was a sum chairman when I studied. I suffered from severe jaundice when I graduated 7th grade. So my father and mother were against sending me back to school. But I struggled a lot and came back to school. After 2 or 3 days there was a registration at the school. To the question what does your father do I said sum chairman, I should have said he was a herder.

Erdenetuya -

Аан.

Sedjav -

After few days later Myagmarjav, the school accountant called me and said I had to pay 168 tögrögs for food and lodging. I think it was 168 tögrögs.

Erdenetuya -

Аан. Yes.

Sedjav -

As I stayed at boarding school. I had to pay 168 tögrögs for food. There was no communication, no telephone as of today. One Saturday I got permission from my teacher and went home to get the required money.

However, my father said “My son, your health is not good. You will not go to school this year. My salary is 80 tögrögs per month. If I pay your 168 tögrögs I have to give 2 months salary. How could we survive. So this year there is no possibility to go and stay at boarding school. You will miss home and cannot stay at others although there are families from our locality there.” But my uncle said “That is not possible. My son, you have to study. Ania, will pay the money.” He was a respected person, he was elected member of a hural. So I went back but missed home a lot. My father told me to stay home. Besides I was very much interested in hunting marmots with my brother. So I went home and left school. At that time agricultural collectives were organized. All persons above the age of 16 became members of cooperative. Our parents were socially active, our father became a collective member, at the forefront. My uncle, a respected and famous person, also joined the collective. All our family members joined the collective. As my father was the sum chairman he led the others. All persons above the age of 16 became cooperative members. There was such a rule. Collective charter. We, my father, mother and myself, became members. I did not automatically become a member as I was of the youth league. I became a collective member because I was sixteen years old. Each collective member had 120 work days annually. If you did not fulfill your 120 work days you had to do compulsory work. Yes, that was so. Our family received a few animals to look after. We had a few goats of our own, we took animals of our relatives, it was better than to take animals from others. I looked after those animals for 2 years. That year I became a collective member and took care of animals during winter. Our animals passed winter very well, I was rewarded for my good job. Next spring I received and reared all young animals, I was again rewarded for my good job. So I decided to become a herder. It is good and enjoyable. There were 2 old veterinarians in our sum. They observed me and appreciated my work. “He is an active, hardworking boy, he has graduated 7th grade. We need him.”

Erdenetuya -

Aan.

Sedjav -

So they decided to make me an assistant veterinarian (nurse). I do not know where they are now, and do not look at archives. But I think they paid 20 tögrögs each from their salary to me.

Erdenetuya -

Yes

Sedjav -

I was sent to disinfect all wintering places. Such chemicals (keroline, düüst) with strong smell (pesticides and insecticides for killing parasites and bugs used as well as disinfection solution) were used.

Erdenetuya -

Ааn

Sedjav -

We took those chemicals on horseback, they taught me how to use them. I worked hard, my job was appreciated, later they would tell me the names of the wintering places and send me alone to disinfect them. You go and disinfect those places today. We will go around and prepare meal for our son and if we are lucky we will hunt a marmot, they would say. I went alone taking those chemicals with me. I did my job properly, I never hurried, I was not lazy although I was a bit scared to be alone. I worked hard and did everything properly, if they came to check or someone else come to see, it would be well done, I thought. That was the start of work and life. You cannot cheat, you have to work hard and be honest so that you are appreciated and rewarded. For that work I received 40 tögrögs as salary. I worked about 2 or 3 months, and received 150 or 160 tögrögs. That was a lot. 150 tögrögs cannot be found easily.

Erdenetuya -

A lot of money.

Sedjav -

It was a lot of money. A lot of money. My father was going around visiting households for a whole month and got 80 tögrögs, to compare it with my salary it was a lot. The next year I worked 2 or 3 months again. There was nothing for me to do after spring and autumn work. In autumn we bathed animals with special liquid to remove parasites. I spent winter looking after our animals, and then went with my brother for otor (moving far away for better pasture for livestock). In spring we left our wintering place and moved to a new place to receive young animals. Many young animals died from diarrhea. So I had my own herd, the brother with whom I wintered was one of my cousins, we were all cousins. He had a number of livestock, so it was impossible for me to stay there. But there was a young married couple, another cousin of mine. I lived with them because they had a few animals, no cooperative livestock, we knew each other, we were neighbors, so she became my sister-in law. She helped me to receive and raise young animals. We were advised by elders to milk ewes very often and well, they had a lot of milk because of good pasture, milk them, milk well, they would demand. We milked them. I held ewes and my sister-in-law milked them. Although we milked them very often probably it was not enough, we lost about 30 or 40 young lambs. In spring because of migrating far away from our wintering place I came to my parents in low mood. I settled down near my parents. Then I came to a conclusion, to look after animals is difficult job. That summer our 2 old veterinarians invited me to work with them. I worked there about 4 months and got 50 or 60 tögrögs. They did not take any deduction, they gave me 40 tögrögs in cash. I was employed by them. Animals were bathed and disinfected in chemical solution. A pit was dug in the ground and was lined with water resistant material. I took off my clothes, made the solution with water and together with the animals bathed in the solution as there was no other option than to bathe with them. My mother used to tell me occasionally it was hard because I was smelling strongly of that disinfectant, she was worried that I might get poisoned. In those days probably the kerolin was imported from Russia, it was not poisonous. I conspired with my younger siblings that in the coming autumn I’d go to school, but didn’t tell my father and mother of my intention. I was good in arithmetic and decided to enroll in financial college, I thought there was no better choice than that. So I was privately preparing for departure. And when it was close to departure I told my mother, she said if I had intended to leave I should have told her. “Yes, you can go. We can manage here.” I had 7 younger siblings, I was the eldest. Mother gave birth to 13 but only 8 survived. Children born before and after me died so I had 7 younger siblings. At that time material such as daalimba (a type of cotton cloth) for making deels was rare. There was a green silk material with a round pattern, probably given by someone (as present). She made for me a cotton padded deel with that silk. So in autumn when the time to leave came, and one blue daalimba deel, which was the uniform of public schools was also made, I got that new deel as well. One of my uncles was working as truck driver in Gobi-Altai aimag, he gave me work boots, which up to the ankle were made of hide that was furry, while the rest was ordinary smooth hide. So I had those boots with hairy lower part. And I was sent to Ulaanbaatar. Of 160 tögrögs I earned, 110 was spent on the travel fee and some 40 or 50 were left. My relatives and that uncle of mine gave me some more money. I arrived in Ulaanbaatar a rich guy with more than one hundred tögrögs in my pocket. Why I mention all these is because a good upbringing and education in childhood stays through your entire life even in your old age. Now I am a pensioner. But I am still very active, not slowing down. This is a merit that the youth organization imparted in me and those elders bestowed on me when I was a child. So I was enrolled at financial college. At first there were examinations, mathematics exams, I passed them. Then other children wanted to sit nearer to me even though they didn’t know me and sat nearby. Well, mathematics was okay, there were three exams - mathematics, constitution and Mongolian language. We thought constitution was the hardest of all.

Erdenetuya -

Ааnhan.

Sedjav -

In mathematic exams, there was an exercise to make an equation, then one or two very mathematical problems to solve. But since I’d spent two years in the countryside I had completely forgotten how to do that. The question was to do with how many heads and legs there were. The problem was how many pigs and chicken were there. The children all tried to solve it but in vain. There were two abstract problems that I solved. So after finding the answers for them I began to draw a number of heads, say if it said there were 20 heads I drew 20 heads and how many legs there were, so I drew the right number of legs. So I found the solution - there were 2 legs per head, then a number of legs were left. They were divided into 2.

Erdenetuya -

Divided in 4.

Sedjav -

The remaining was divided in 2.

Erdenetuya -

Ааnhan.

Sedjav -

Finding the solution I wrote the answer there were so many pigs and so on, so many chickens without performing any mathematical function. It took me a considerable time. Then it was announced that the time was up and the papers were taken away. The work was checked and they had a meeting. There was elder female teacher by the name Dagzmaa. She said in the exams all the children got bad marks (didn’t pass).

Erdenetuya -

Ааnhan.

Sedjav -

Well that was a failure. How could it be otherwise since you failed the exam. I was thinking how could I get a bad mark. Then she said “only one child among you tried to solve the problem. You all saw his solution and copied it.” Then she called my name. I said “it is me” she asked from whom I copied the answer. I said I didn’t ask anyone for the solution. She said there was no one in the class who found the solution. Only one child simply wrote the answer, wrote it directly. It was what happened. I said I tried to solve the problem but when the time was up I just wrote answer. She asked if I knew beforehand the problem and many other questions, it went like that for a while. So I told Dagzmaa bagsh I was very fond of mathematics. I would not fail you in mathematics. Is there any way to let me pass the exam. I solved the problems in my mind that there were so many heads and so many legs etc. And the answer was clear. So I just wrote the answer. Then three teachers who were present began to laugh and they continued to laugh for a while. Then Dagzmaa bagsh told me you got 3 (satisfactory mark), 3 minus. And continued you all can give the next exam, if you pass the other two exams…

Erdenetuya -

Then it was possible.

Sedjav -

She said it was possible and we did the next exams. In the Mongolian language exams I had to write a composition on “Sheepherder Naidan” (a short novel by writer Ts. Tsegmid about life of a country boy) and wrote it. And I was very happy, I passed the exam. The next exam was easier. The social activity saves a person. I was standing at the door of the examination room. Teachers did not arrive yet. I was standing at the door of that empty room to be the first to go in. The teacher came and entered the room. When I was peeping through the door, “Come in and take the papers and put them on the table”, the teacher said. Taking the papers I managed to look at one and it was about the Constitution. There were 3 questions on it and I could answer them. So I looked around and put it in a marked place, and put other papers around it. I went back out of the room. When it was allowed to enter I said I was the first with a mind to get that marked paper. Coming into the room I was little confused to find it but took the right one. I answered the questions. I got an excellent mark on Constitution and Mongolian language. I got satisfactory marks in mathematics. That was how I was enrolled in Financial College. I never failed my teacher in mathematics at the College. My teacher used to say,” Sedjaav we had a lot of fun when you started”. Later we became close friends. From the start I was elected as class head, chairman of the youth league committee because it was written in my CV that I was in the Youth League in the school. They elected me directly for 4 years.

Erdenetuya -

Doing Chairman’s work

Sedjav -

I graduated College doing Youth League chairmanship work for 4 years. The College leadership tried hard to make me stay as chairman of the Youth League committee.

Erdenetuya -

Mng.

Sedjav -

But for me my parents were important. They were old, I was very close to them and missed them a lot. I missed my home . I stayed with my uncle in Ulaanbaatar. But still I missed my mom. There was the Statistical central office. Surmaajav guai was the chairman of the Statistical Central office before he was dismissed. I was sent to that office.

Erdenetuya -

Аан.

Sedjav -

I worked there as an apprentice, I went there with a supplementary paper. “Our aimag has no experts, send him here, he is from our aimag and our first expert”, the paper said. Looking at the paper, I think I cried. I did not cry to stay in Ulaanbaatar, but cried to go to countryside. “He has a patriotic heart, let him be sent to the countryside”, they said. So I was assigned to the (aimag) statistical bureau, its first expert. Our class was the first graduation of deputy chairmen of sums. We were the first experts. That was how I came here. Yes. It was very nice. I went to aimag administration. There was a lot of fun when I studied at the college.

Erdenetuya -

Ааn.

Sedjav -

First autumn of the college we went to Jargalant state farm. Big boys carried sacks of wheat on their shoulders easily. But I could not. I was not able to lift it. Thinking to myself I found out a way to lift it, by putting 2 or 3 sacks of wheat in a vertical position and put one sack on it, by standing lower I could put it on my shoulder. Sacks of wheat were given through a high window of the building. I went with difficulty to the window and asked big boys to pull it. Although I was small I continued to carry sacks. As I was a country boy, having worked hard looking after animals, I was more patient and self-restrained than those children who graduated from 7th or 8th grades. Much better. I understood and reflected on things easily. When I came to the state farm I received 1700 tögrögs as a wage. Working at state farm.

Erdenetuya -

Wow

Sedjav -

There was a woman with the nickname “fancy Davaasüren”. She worked here. She had become friends and married Shilüüstein Lhamsüren when they studied at the college. She was working as inspector in charge of control in our financial department. When she was in the fourth course she took us to the state farm, and kept records of our work - carried so many bags of grain weighing so many kg for a distance of so many meters etc. So many times carried the grains, collected potatoes from such field etc.

Erdenetuya -

Kept work records.

Sedjav -

By today’s understanding she was a financial bookkeeper. She did it properly because she was going to be an accountant. She kept a record. Every work was valued. All work was valued. There were many students who received over 2000. I was not among them but not at the bottom, mine was average. I gave 100 tögrögs each to our 2 cooks, I kept the rest with me. One bundle of 10 tögrög banknotes, plus 500 tögrögs, probably there was some small change, I put the bundle of 10 tögrög banknotes in breast flap of my deel.

Erdenetuya -

Yes

Sedjav -

We felt as if we were adults. But Davaasüren reminded us a lot. “Do not drink alcohol, do not smoke. You should not spend it for nothing because you received a lot of money. Do not spend it for nothing. You have to give all of it to your parents, your guardians. I will go and tell them how much money you have received, show your signature. I will ask how much money you gave them.” That was the nice way in which people treated each other in old times - they gave guidance and advice to each other. Their advice was strictly followed. Now I always tell my children not to spend everything. However, there are not many who listen and take the advice.

Erdenetuya -

“It does not matter, I earned it myself”

Sedjav -

Yes. That kind of attitude. “I earned it myself. Let me buy a cigarette and smoke with friends.” At our time there was no understanding of drinking. After arrival from the state farm we were assigned to different classes, I was elected as chairman of youth league of the college. At the state farm an old teacher nicknamed Baldßheaded Tsegmid was responsible for our class. One morning we found out that a sheep and goat were brought for our consumption. For our food. Our teacher asked was there anyone who could slaughter sheep. Those who could raised their hands. Was there anyone who could clean intestines? he asked. Sheep and goat intestines. No one among the girls. “Really, there is no one who can clean intestines”, he demanded. I raised my hand. When I stayed with my uncle I slaughtered one sheep, my uncle slaughtered 3 sheep. I saw how he cleaned intestines. I also saw how my mother cleaned intestines. It was squeezed slowly, squeezed, squeezed excrement out well. But my uncle did it differently.

Erdenetuya -

Running water through it

Sedjav -

He poured a little water into the intestines, squeezed it a bit and put a piece of lung, poured a little more water and squeezed it. Putting 2 pieces of lung and water and squeezed it. It went through intestines cleansing the excrement easily. Cleaning intestines by running water through it. I thought about it and raised my hand. “A boy is raising hands to clean intestines but no girls. Are you the eldest from a family without girl? You stay here. Slaughter the animals and clean intestines with your cooks. Prepare good food upon our arrival. I will reward you by give you the gonjoo (rump ) for cleaning the intestines. It is up to you whether you share it with your cooks or eat it yourself”, the teacher said. Saying so he left with other students to work. I was young. First I slaughtered the sheep. We cleaned intestines. Everything was OK. Our cooks were surprised, how could it be so fast and easy. “How did you learn it, who taught you?” They were curious. “My mother taught me”, I said. I saw how my uncle did it. Now I did it myself. It is possible. I will teach my mother how to do it, I thought. Next I slaughtered the goat and started to clean intestines. When water was poured it burst with a sound and everything was mixed with excrement, we tried it many times, no use. It burst, exploded. We laughed a lot. We did not know why it was different from sheep intestines. We did not know

Erdenetuya -

Ааn.

Sedjav -

The reason was that goat intestines congeal easily, secondly, sheep bought from the market were hungry, they were driven for 2 or 3 days, they had empty stomach. It was easier to clean the intestine of sheep slaughtered by my uncle, because the sheep had empty stomach. But our sheep was brought from pasture and had full stomach.

Erdenetuya -

Full stomach with excrement

Sedjav -

Full of excrement. What a mess, what would we do. So we cooked sheep blood intestines, we cleaned it well. But what will we tell them about goat intestines. Fortunately one of the cooks was from eastern aimag. She suggested to make ooromog (a dish made from the intestiince) with small intestines from the goat.

Erdenetuya -

Ааn.

Sedjav -

We did not know as well how to make ooromog. When I stayed at my teacher’s his wife was making ooromog. She asked me whether we did it at home. I asked how to make it. She showed me slicing liver and putting other things on it then roll it into fat of around the intestines .

Erdenetuya -

Wrap it with small intestines

Sedjav -

Then wrap it with small intestines. When they came from work they praised us a lot. Intestines were well cleaned and well done. Our teacher was happy, and praised us a lot. I thought these 3 would make a mess with intestines but they are good, he said. When I slaughtered the goat I had a problem. I slaughtered the sheep alone but the goat was different. It was a big male goat, the goat was screaming, I could not do it alone. So I called 2 cooks for help. Help me otherwise I cannot do it myself alone I said. But they were both scared, saying no, no women should not do it. No you have to do it. You, I addressed to one of them, come and hold the two hind legs, you, the other girl, grasp the mouth, otherwise I cannot do it alone. That was how I was observed by our teachers during the autumn work of that year. At the financial college I studied well, my chairmanship work of youth league was good. Some people came to our college to get acquainted with our work, I do not remember what I have shown to them. I participated in 15th congress of Youth League, the 40th anniversary of the Youth League. After graduating the college I came as I told you to Zavhan aimag. They had a partnership agreement with Aldarhaan sum. We were directly sent to Aldarhaan to help in the haymaking campaign. There was a boy Shoomoi of our class, he was assigned to aimag Planning commission. Our class was named planning and statistics class. There were many young people. There were also old people. We went to Aldarhaan, helping with the haymaking work. Among us were even women much older than my mother. They dragged hay from forest, followed us with difficulty. Men directly went to their ger, 3 or 4 women prepared tea and food. As I went very often hunting and haymaking with my father I knew how to cut grass with a sickle, I did it well. I gave my sickle to my father, he leaned on me and came home. I collected dry willow grove from the forest, sat and broke them on my knee, brought water from the river, helped them to make the fire and prepare the food. The old women were very happy, they praised me a lot, what a good boy, they said. Of course they did not tell me but I overheard it. What a good boy, probably he is the eldest of a family without girl. In old times people observed and came to conclusions about child behavior. To work hard, not to sit idle, to help people was my education given by my parents since childhood, it was also my education acquired when I was herdsman. I was respected and appreciated for my work at aimag administration. There I was assigned again as chairman of youth league. I was praised as chairman of the Youth League. A good chairman of the Youth League. I participated in all the activities organized. At that time the aimag administration did not celebrate New Year, did not organize any kind of celebration. My father and my uncle, eldest brother of my father, played morin huur (horse head fiddle). My father played the morin huur very well. He also played accordion. They were voluntary artists. I organized a New Year party, invited my father and uncle, they played the morin huur. I had knowledge and experience from my college years about New Year, about Father Christmas. I prepared scenarios for comedians to praise or criticize sums for their good or bad jobs. Comedians looked through binoculars, criticizing those sums or cooperatives for their bad performance. They praised those who had good performance. I organized many different activities. It is just an example. During my lifetime I worked only in 3 organizations. I worked over 4 years at the aimag administration, about 3 years at the construction office and from there I was transferred to the aimag Youth League. I worked there until my retirement. That is me and my life. What I am trying to tell you is that if you pay more attention and give proper education to your children from childhood, that education will lead them in their future life. The youth league of Zavhan aimag where I worked was famous for its work in Mongolia. It won 5 banners. 5 banners for best performances. 6 banners including the aimag youth league banner. They were given on different occasions and anniversaries. The first banner was given to us on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of Lenin’s birthday, we won in the competition announced on this occasion. Our youth worked very well. So in 1970 we received the first memorial banner on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of Lenin’s birthday. After that we have received 4 banners. Those who worked with me during that period were genuine gods. Our new chairman Ayurzana, Tsegmidiin Ayurzana of Sagil sum of Uvs aimag. Luvsandondov, Sambuudorj and others. When I worked at the Construction office Ayurzana guai met me several times and advised me to go into the Youth League. You have to work with youths, you have chosen the wrong profession, this administrative work is not for you, it is a job to do when you get older, he said.

Erdenetuya -

Yes.

Sedjav -

Please do the Youth League job at your young energetic age. He pleaded with me. I followed his advice. It was a good choice. When I came to the construction office I hoped to go to school abroad. I gave my petition to my superior. My work performance was good. The work of our organization was evaluated as good. In the previous year our chief went to school, the senior expert was promoted to that position, I was approved by the aimag party committee as senior expert of our office. It was such a period. That year I was still hoping to go to school. The chief of the construction office was an old man Nyamjav, Shooyuu Nyamjav, he was a man with an interesting history. He was transferred to the Administrative office of Uliastai as chairman. It left a vacancy of deputy chairman at the construction office, they asked Nyamjav whom he recommends for this vacancy, he said to appoint Sedjav to that position. That was it.

Erdenetuya -

Ааn.

Sedjav -

His words were taken as law. I was approved by the meeting of the party bureau. I was not happy. I stayed at home for 3 days refusing to go to work after that appointment. I did not want to do an administrative job. It was not my qualification. However, law is powerful I had to go.

Erdenetuya -

The decision was made

Sedjav -

Yes. Bavuusüren, the second secretary of the party committee came and said - come and sit in the car. You have to hand over your work. And I was given the job. Well our construction brigade built (and put into operation for the first time) the auto repair and maintenance shop, the very shop in great demand. In a month we did that job valued at 2 million and 900 tögrögs, and the construction bureau built houses valued at 18,19 million in the first 2 or 3 years and had been placed as the national champion builder for 2 or 3 years, I was very lucky. It was not my merit, my contribution was minimal, but I was a lucky guy. But I was also criticized by those who disliked the fact that the construction bureau had won the first place. And I accepted the offer of Ayurzana darga and moved to the Youth League. I probably worked for 25 years in youth organization. Radnaaragchaa guai who was the chairman of the aimag told me to come to aimag administration and promised to offer me a suitable job. He said “you should take up a job where you can be independent. The youth would one day say Sedzav guai you are now old. You would give up your job and you’d have to quit.” That kind man offered his assistance to me 2 or 3 times. When I was working in the youth organization he was the head of office, he knew me, we were from the same place and close friends but I could not accept the offer, so until I retired I stayed in aimag administration, oh no in the youth committee. Now a youth living in the settlement calls me once or twice a year at anniversaries to come to their office and welcomes me. What I’d achieved in my life is thanks to my childhood upbringing. I don’t have any other education or training, I can’t do any other job. The only thing I have is my motivation. Thanks both to my motivation and upbringing I have reached my present standing. I am such an old man. Later after my retirement while I was tending herds in Hairhan sum I served as the chairman of the Hural of people’s representatives for 3 years and 10 months, during the term of election. I was retired at the age of 55. So meanwhile I reached 60 and my pension was set. You know how people were told to retire before pension age hee, hee, hee.

Erdenetuya -

Did they say your years of employment were sufficient, eligible (for retirement )

Sedjav -

If you had worked for so many years to be eligible for retirement and were 55 years old then you could be retired on pension in those days. So I quit. And I say to people of Tsagaan hairhan, I constructed something wherever I went. I boast to the youth saying that the two storey grey house of Children and youth palace was built by me. I had it built when I was working here. There were many wonderful people. There was a good man called Ayurzana guai, Tserendorj guai was also a nice person, there was Bumba guai, one Pürevhüü who was our second secretary. Later he went to Bayanhongor aimag as the first secretary of youth committee. Yes, Dorjpalamyn Pürevhüü. From there he went to become the chairman Dornod aimag, Dornogovi aimag party committee. Very nice people. The state secretary of the Ministry of education, culture and science Beerenhii also worked with us. And Byambyn Soninjargal and many other young people. My achievements were due to the hard work of those people. The political work is not appropriate for an old man of 50 or 60 years of age. Politics is not a good thing if it is not carried out with goodwill and harmony. In most cases people suffer. I fully understood it when I worked over 3 years as chairman of Hurals in Tsagaan hairhan sum. They gave nice promises to people, but it is nothing but empty promises. It is only for their interests, for interests of their party. Not for the people. Sometimes I was so desperate and asked them, we had 20 representatives of citizens, are we working for wellbeing and development of Tsagaan hairhan sum? Everyone said yes, yes. Is there anyone against it? No one against. If we all agree we have to find out simple and inexpensive methods for development. That shows the process of meeting. However when it comes to concrete work, nothing worked out. It was exactly as of today’s Ih Hural, there was a time when the Hural’s of representatives of the sum could not hold its meeting. That was how development of Mongolia was stuck. As I worked at the youth organization I was for democracy, of course it was difficult for young people at junior positions to openly express their feelings. They could not say anything. It was so. As a result of democracy it is possible to criticize anyone at any place. Thanks to democracy some people acquired capital, became rich. I was a member of an agricultural collective. I had a critical view about the privatization of animals by force, copying the example of others. But I was among the people in countryside and know that in general it was the right thing to do. Party and government allowing people living scattered in vast areas to join a big family of agricultural cooperatives. It was wrong to distribute properties of rich families to the poor. Although those rich families did not get anything of their own they looked after cooperative herds and received the work day payment. Thanks to this policy the life of the poor improved a lot, many of them had received the title of best herders and various other awards. Thanks to the collective when I was young we had roofless pens made of stones, but later warm pens and shelters were built for the herds. Nice wells were dug for the livestock. At winter camps fodder and salt were delivered, even a thing called water reservoirs were built. It was truly a big step taken by government and party, and successful attainment of a great goal. But dissolution of collectives in my view was not a very farsighted action, it was wrong. Journalist Tsagaan started to yell from morning till night that “there is something wrong with the collectives” and the collectives were disbanded. With the dissolution of the collectives huge assets were eradicated. With privatization, I take an example of our sum, leave this building, our sum has no office, it has no club, no cultural center. There is no place for youth to spend their spare time. Let’s give it to them. Many times I said about it at meetings, as I was a member of the cooperative, my membership was restored, I took herds from the cooperative by rent and attended meetings. They did not listen to me. Everything should be privatized. Privatization. Privatization. Tear down this and that. Everything was dispersed, scattered, eradicated. Buildings and houses were torn down, every single board, plank even a crooked nail were counted and taken away. That was how the people had eradicated everything themselves by shouting about (privatization). As an example, at present there is not a single well left, there are very few wintering camps with fencing in Tsagaanhairhan sum. Animal wintering fences, wells, other facilities were tore down, boards and planks were transported to sum and aimag centers, were used for fences and storerooms of individuals. It was extreme, it was too bad and very wrong. It could be possible that it was connected with leaders of that period. When we talk about establishing a cooperative or association, first comes the question of who will be chairman. Good idea. Let us work in partnership. Then comes the question who will be chairman, who will be accountant, who will be bookkeeper, there are these 3 positions, let’s decide. There are persons with knowledge and experience a little older than me 50 or 60 years old or of my age. But it does not matter, our superiors have already chosen their own people. Without informing us. That was it. The youth organization was a huge, efficient, capable organization, it has accomplished a lot of work.

Erdenetuya -

Exactly what kind of accomplishments?

Sedjav -

In the economic field

Erdenetuya -

How?

Sedjav -

There was not a single branch where this organization was not involved. To build animal fences the youth go there. To prepare hay and fodder the youth go. Youth go to dig wells. All this work helped for development of individuals. Take a family of 3, the father, an old man, the mother, a middle aged woman and a son or a daughter. A son or a daughter takes all responsibility for the family. In our Songino sum there was a man called Namhainyambuu baatar, hero of labor. He was a deputy of People’s Ih Hural and a member of State Ih Hural. Recently he passed away. His father was an old man, his mother was also old. But he used to say “I look after animals with my parents”. He always said so. Once a journalist came to me and asked to meet with a best herder. I sent him to meet with Namhainyambuu baatar. At that time he was an ordinary herder, he has not yet become a hero. We met him. “He looks after animals alone. He has no family. He lives with his parents and does all the work alone”, I said. The journalist seemed not too happy or very interested. So I continued saying “ his father is a disabled old man, his mother is old and has high blood pressure. They are not of much help. This young man does all the housework, and looks after 5 or 6 hundred animals alone”. “ Sedjav guai, what are you talking about. Having my father beside me is like the high, sheltering mountain in the north of our wintering place. Having my mother beside me means to have a hotel like yours. When I go in the morning tea and breakfast is ready. When I arrive in the evening food is ready. Bed is made to sleep. Home is warm and comfortable. Clothes are ready to change when I go somewhere. It is just like a hotel. That is why I have to say that I look after animals with my parents” he said. I should not have said it. I should have kept silent, I thought. That was how young people took care of their families. Nice young people. Many young people went to the countryside to work in agriculture and cooperatives since the party appeal. Many young people went to the countryside with youth assignment.

Erdenetuya -

What does youth assignment mean?

Sedjav -

Well graduates of 7th and 8th grades of secondary school were given assignments. Some went to work at factories, some went into agriculture. The whole class. It was shown in a film, I forget the name. About children going to work at a factory.

Erdenetuya -

First love or something like that?

Sedjav -

Yes. It is. It was shown in a film. That campaign was spreading in countryside. Even today many elderly people say “I worked with youth assignment. I am planning to make a film. About my life working on assignment. There are many who addressed to me and want to talk about their life and work during years of their assignments.”

Erdenetuya -

What is the importance of it?

Sedjav -

About all this work. About all accomplishments I have told you. About taking care of animals.

Erdenetuya -

State and social work

Sedjav -

All this work was accomplished by all those children (youth) sent on assignments. They, those young people really demonstrated how to work.

Erdenetuya -

They acquired knowledge and skill of work from there

Sedjav -

Eh eh. Later many of them had become state champions (of labor), hero of labor, member of State Ih Hural. Take the example of our aimag. Ochiryn Baterdene, he went to polytechnic institute on youth assignment, after graduation he worked at the central committee of the Youth League, became general manager of Ulaanbaatar and now he is the chief of the investment department of the Finance Ministry. He is also the chairman of the council of citizens of his nutag, when they arrive here they come to greet me. They speak with me frankly about their jobs, their life, what was going in the right direction what was not, and leave.

Erdenetuya -

Mng. What was the policy realized by the state with regard to Youth league? How did the youth organization educate the youth?

Sedjav -

As for the state and party, actually the party was the leader. Party congress, conference and plenums had launched certain goals. The youth committee of our aimag had 5 banners for best performance. Directives and tasks were given to party and youth organizations to intensify preparatory work for fodder and haymaking, how to defend hay fields, how to increase crops and how to prepare for harvesting. As well as this, tasks were given to increase the number of animals. Youth has participated in every work carried out for development of Mongolia. I mentioned about the family of Namhainyambuu baatar (hero) as an example, the son of Tserendash, he was the one who took care of his parents and looked after the 6,700 herd of the family. The main work for development of Zavhan aimag was done by youth. Everybody participated, regardless of being members or non members of youth organization. In Urgamal sum of our aimag there was not a single person who did not belong to the youth committee. Everyone joined the youth organization following one another. The youth committee of Urgamal sum was famous in the country. A model youth committee. Ishee darga knows about it. I heard that Dashsüren, the former youth chairman of Urgamal sum, now an old man with an iron stick lives in Ulaanbaatar. He worked as chairman of that committee. As I said there was not a single work without youth involvement. Leaders of youth organizations were distinguished people. We were criticized and scolded for all the work. The party monitored, gave directives of the work and insisted for its implementation. I think among the population of Mongolia only those who worked with youth organizations listened carefully to others’ views and remarks. Accepted criticism. Now such persons are very rare. I always reminded my colleagues about it. Thanks to work and life experience with the youth organization we grew up smart and capable people, able to understand and distinguish the rights and wrongs of criticism, and respect others’ views. Yes. I think so.

Erdenetuya -

Construct roads

Sedjav -

Youth of the age of military service, for you it will be difficult to understand. You may think what could these old people do, what did they do. Most of the officials working in higher positions in our aimag, for example, are former youth leaders of sum, aimag. Those who acquired education, attended various courses and training through youth organizations. You can meet them in any sum or aimag. I think it is same in other aimags. Demberel guai, speaker of Ih Hural was the first secretary of the Youth committee of Hovd aimag. We met and worked together. He worked as the first secretary of the Party? here. He is an old man, but still active.

Erdenetuya -

Speaker of State Ih Hural

Sedjav -

Yes. He became the speaker of Ih Hural

Erdenetuya -

The Secretary of the youth organization would implement party policy?

Sedjav -

Directives came from above. From the Party congress. The youth organization also held its Congresses and implemented its own policy and objectives. For example the 9th plenum of party central committee was held, it discussed issues concerning how to increase the number of animals, how to secure safe wintering and birth young animals without loss. It put forward a goal to birth 95 lambs alive from 100 ewes. That goal was implemented, some of the best herders received more than 100 lambs. But the average number was 95. The 6th congress of the central committee of the youth league was held immediately after the party congress and set out a goal to receive 96 lambs from 100 ewes. Outsiders called our Namhainyambuu baatar (hero) a pasture propagandist. A journalist from Youth newspaper wanted to have an interview with him, during their conversation I noticed that the journalist did not ask the right questions and our baatar did not tell him what he wanted to tell him. When we had lunch I said: people call you a pasture propagandist, why, what does it mean?

“Probably they are badmouthing me. If I want to say something to someone I say it on the spot even in the pasture, there is no need to go to a ger or house. If we meet at the pasture I tell them what I think. For example about the decision of party plenum, when I meet someone at pasture I ask him about decision of the party plenum to raise 95 lambs from 100. He would say yes he knows. But I say you know the youth congress set out the objective to receive 96 lambs. Just point out what is important. So he leaves with an understanding that he has to receive 96 lambs from 100 ewes. That is all. If you talk too much it is difficult to get what is important. Maybe it is possible to talk if I attend a meeting otherwise I have no time to sit and talk about things, I am at the pasture from morning till dusk. I do not want to wait until people gather somewhere in a room to listen to me. It does not matter whether it is one person or more, I tell what I want to tell. That is why they call me a pasture propagandist.” Listening to him the journalist brightened up, “That is a proper name, it praises you. Wait, wait.“ He took out paper and pen to write it down. That was how we took initiatives, youth and youth organization. There were also directives from the party to do this and that. We fulfilled tasks put forward by the party and youth organization. Our youth organizations made their surveys and plans. “You have a plan to build 10 fences for animals this year. Did you build them?” “Yes. It has been done”. There was a youth brigade for preparation of timber. Another brigade was to transport it. There were several brigades for construction of fences. There were also brigades for agriculture. We built fences. Nobody was against. Animal fences were built 100 percent by youth, the cooperative chairman agreed, the sum governor agreed and people agreed with it. Youth organization accomplished such endeavors for this reason its reputation has increased. We did not praise youth for nothing. Our committee had received one banner for construction of fences. Another banner for preparation of fodder. We received one banner and awards of 4 organizations by winning in socialist competition dedicated to the 17th congress of the youth organization. We were awarded the ‘by memorial’ banner on the occasion of 100th anniversary of Lenin’s birthday.

Erdenetuya -

A powerful organization

Sedjav -

The youth organization was truly a powerful organization. It accomplished a lot.

Erdenetuya -

Youth organization is an affiliated organization of the party, it seems

Sedjav -

In the past it was so. It was called the militant assistant and reserve force of the MPRP. There were advantages to become a party member from the youth organization. It required to have 3 guarantors to become a party member, the youth organization could be one guarantor. If it required 2 guarantors the youth organization will be one guarantor. The other guarantor should be a senior party member. If a young man had a bad reputation and poor work performance the party will not accept him . That was it.

Erdenetuya -

Party policy was well argued for among the youth? Right?

Sedjav -

Yes.

Erdenetuya -

Only when the foundations of these are embedded in the youth will the country progress further.

Sedjav -

Well maybe so, we, I and the young people were always in vanguard of implementation of measures put forward from above, from the high authorities. That was why people, local people knew what the youth were doing. If you ask Ish darga how did the young people of Urgamal sum work he’d tell you. There were many great dargas , in the past. And they would probably tell what great things they had accomplished.

Erdenetuya -

Were there any special or extraordinary events in your life? That tell some history, maybe some good, something that is of special importance as memento?

Sedjav -

No.

Erdenetuya -

May be inherited from your parents.

Sedjav -

There were good educated lamas in our family

Erdenetuya -

Ааn.

Sedjav -

One of them was arrested during the 1937 repression, and was sentenced to 10 years. He was released a bit before 10 years for his good work. He was a doorombo, a traditional doctor.

Erdenetuya -

Maaramba

Sedjav -

Maaramba, he was a maaramba. At the beginning of the ‘90s my uncle Sangajav was the last person with doorombo rank in all temples of Zavhan aimag. He passed away at the age of 92. As my parents did not worship religion all the religious belongings of my uncle were hidden in mountains. There is nothing left to us. Even if we had we could not have worshipped and kept it up properly. We are such folks. Something funny came to my mind. He, he. My father came to sum center with few camels carrying food (meat) for our winter consumption. We sent camels to nearby the sum center. My cousin, son of the younger sister of my father, has passed away this winter. We were sent to bring camels back from pasture. At dusk we arrived at the place, there were 2 camels with saddle and 3 or 4 more camels. “Be careful, ride the 2 tamed camels, others are not tamed, they will run away”, they said. We did not know which ones were tamed, we seized 2 camels and rode them, driving the others. We heard sounds while we were going home. We both carefully listened again, definitely we heard strange sounds. My cousin said - It is a devil. Be silent. He is calling us. If you make any sound your soul will be taken away. I felt uncomfortable. What is it. At last we arrived home. It was ‘51 or ’52. When we approached our home everybody came out, seeing us they exclaimed “you rode the kicking camel. Be careful, make him lie down, otherwise he will kill you. He was brought from the gobi”, they said. I was sweating.

Erdenetuya -

You felt better, no more fear

Sedjav -

Competing to scare each other we started talking about the devil. The devil did not come here in presence of people, we said. Our uncle said “oh, is it so. Come in, my sons”, he called us from his ger. At that time he was a deputy (of the hural). We dismounted, gave my camel to my father and entered the ger. “Did you have a good trip, where did you find your camels” he asked. “Come and sit down there.” As I was older than my cousin I sat first and my cousin sat after me. He asked what kind of sound did you hear. We did not know he was going to scold us. “It was the devil” we said. “What does it look like, did you see?” “No, we did not see because it was dark.” “What did it say?”. “Oh there were a lot of utterances”. “Aah, is it so. Who taught you so. Is it Nyangarag, is it Chimedzaya.?” At that time the director of our school was Choijiljav. “Did Choijiljav teach you that. Who taught you two?” he asked. Then he started to scold. So we were scolded for some time. Then he said (to his wife) “quickly prepare the food, I’ll accompany these two and go to that devil. See what kind of a thing that was. If we can catch that tomorrow somewhere we’ll show to the inhabitants of sum centre what the devil looked like. I’ll tell them this thing frightened the two children and we somehow managed to catch it”. We were scolded more and he said he’d accompany us, we ate the food and he calmed down somewhat and stopped telling us that he’d go with us and then he said “I’m a bit tired, the three of us will go tomorrow, today I can’t”, he said. So we decided to go out stood up quietly and when we reached the door the boy who was sitting below me said “ you wipe out your mouth otherwise homhoi (blisters on lips) will lick your mouth, blisters would erupt.” He stood up first and was heading to the door, I was following after him, he stopped before going out and said “did you wipe out your mouth, blisters would erupt” and began to wipe his mouth. “Oh is it so” my uncle said, “don’t you listen to what others say to you, if you study in your class like this how can you learn anything, come back” he ordered. And we were scolded for almost the night through. What kind of a beast was that homhoi, whom did he lick. We had nothing to say. That was how we were brought up, that was why we had no idea about keeping or storing things. Our family was big. 8 of us were born from my mother, 8 children were born from my grandmother as well. And we had very few livestock. So my father and my uncle hunted marmots during summer and consumed its meat and sold the skin to the Chinese, in winter they hunted white gazelle and supplied the meat to the school for the children’s provisions and were awarded with a shotgun. That was how they got the right to carry a hunting rifle. Then they went on caravans for other families, my father went on caravans for his whole life and he used to tend other’s herds. They were such folks that was why there is nothing (of any value) they left as inheritance.

Erdenetuya -

You said marmot skins were sold to Chinese, what did the Chinese do with the skin?

Sedjav -

Don’t know. Here in our place...

Erdenetuya -

Were there many Chinese then?

Sedjav -

Down below along the river lived also 2 or 3 Russians, a number of Chinese as well.

Erdenetuya -

Okay.

Sedjav -

Down below lived the Chinese - called Chinese of brown sheep - they were traders, they bought sheep wool, sheep skins, marmot skins, deer antlers and other items. They were the Chinese. Even in the Tsagaan hairhan sum they grew grain and vegetablse in a small field. Later in the 50’s a Chinese person called Bayar used to grow vegetables and run the canteen of the artel (Soviet type collectively owned enterprise of craftsmen). There was also a Chinese person called Tömör, there was also one Tsoohor, these are the Mongolian names for them. Adults didn’t call him Bayar but generally called them stammerers. The stammerers had difficulty in speaking started saying k, k, k, So there were such people, those Chinese. They were like the present 'changers' (people who buy and sell things are now called changers - 'chanj'). They used to buy sheep, bought sheep from Khovd and drove them out through the southern border (to China). So there were the Chinese called the Chinese of brown sheep.

Erdenetuya -

Is there any event that made deep impact on your livelihood?

Sedjav -

None. My two elders educated me. My uncle was elected as a deputy from 4 sums in the south which belonged to one electoral district. He taught, educated not only me, the children of his relatives but other children of Mongolia. He was a noble and blessed person. There was an old man Tserenbaljir, he worked as chief of department of 20th auto transport depot. Once we went together to Songino tsetsen mountain. He asked about my family and said oh you are from that family. He (my uncle) was very honest, straightforward person. He made a speech at State Ih Hural. While he was speaking his time limit was over. “Damdin guai, your time is over, please hand over your speech in writing”, he was reminded 2 or 3 times. The next speaker came up and stood behind him. He looked back and said: Aah, I will step down from the podium within the limited time and in a minute, I will stand on the floor without a time limit and finish my speech by telling you what my people ordered and asked me to tell you.” When he stepped down from the podium; “no, no please finish your speech”, he was pleaded. That was how for a while we were allowed to talk without a time limit. We were both deputies at that time, Tserenbaljir guai said. The Mongol live goat is cheaper than the rubber goat coming from Russia. The rubber goat meant children’s toy, rubber goat. That rubber goat cost 3 tögrögs while one kg of goat meat was 48 möngö. That was also what my uncle said. I remember what people said about my uncle and have a good memory of him. Thanks to the teachings and education of my 2 uncles I worked and lived a good life, retired at my old age and receive allowances from state.

Erdenetuya -

Thank you very much for giving an interview

Sedjav -

I hope it will be of some use.

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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.