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In previous issues the Mongolian Women Magazine invited young big families to our corner “Big Family”.

And in this issue we invited representatives of the older generation who contributed to the development of society, and along with the work brought up many children.

Our guests spent their youth in the socialist time, followed the socialist regime, lived from one business trip to another, but at the same time created their own experience and mindset in raising children, accumulated rich experience.

The head of the family is the Hero of Labor of Mongolia Bazargur D. He is 83 years old. He has lived with his wife, Tseveen N., for 60 years. They have six children: four sons and two daughters ...

Journalist: Your life story, which is already 60 years old, will certainly be instructive for our readers. I would like to start our conversation with the history of your family.

Wife: We met in 1960 on the collective farm Bornuur, when we studied at a technical school. After graduating from college in 1961, we received a business trip to Khovd province. Our joint life began there. My husband is an engineer of road and bridge construction, and I graduated from the Medical School by the profession of “X-ray Technician” and the Pedagogical Institute with a degree in “Librarian”. I worked in the clinic of the Khovd province for two years, and then my husband got a business trip to the capital, and I came with him. And when we arrived in Ulaanbaatar, the Minister of Health Tuvaan ordered us to move to the province of Selenge or to the city of Darkhan and work there. It was difficult for us to move again to the province. And I decided to enter the Pedagogical Institute. After graduating from the Pedagogical Institute with a degree in Librarian, I worked in the Children’s Library of the City Department of Culture for 5-6 years. In general, I worked in my main specialty for two years, in general six years. Then I began to follow her husband.

Journalist: Before coming to visit you, I studied the history of your family. Your children inherited the profession of father and for many years continuously work in the road sector of Mongolia.

Wife: We built bridges on the rivers, many years of our life are certainly connected with this industry. Therefore, my children also have knowledge about this industry, began to be interested, and on the advice of their father entered the road industry. At that time, my husband and colleagues just finished building a bridge to Zaisan and received the next trip to Zamar to build the Ovoot Bridge. Our eldest son Gantumur was born in 1963 in the city of Ulaanbaatar. Our work follows great rivers. Where there is a big and wide river, we built bridges there. And at each business trip, our son studied in schools of close soums and lived in the dormitory. He moved a lot from one school to another. But his education has not suffered due to frequent moves. All of our children finished school and university, and all work for the good of society.

The eldest son Gantumur works as the Chief Executive Officer of the “Steel Bridge” company. The next daughter graduated by the specialty “Making of Mongolian Traditional Shoes”, and today she sews and prepares Mongolian traditional shoes. The next daughter, Gantulga, graduated from the Railway Technical School. Now she also works in the company “Steel Bridge”. Son Gansukh and Ganguur also work in separate companies. Ganguur is also Chief Engineer. And the youngest son  Gankhuu graduated from the Police Academy, worked as an investigator, and then went to Ireland. He lived in Ireland for 7-8 years and returned home. After talking with you, the memory of those years of youth is restored, when I was traveling on business trips with my husband. After my husband worked in the Zaamar soum of Central province, I did a lot of work in the road sector. I was serving as a cooker, head of the farm, and later during the construction of the bridge Hurt worked as a foreman. After arriving in Ulaanbaatar, I got a first job as head of the household in the Road Administration. When the Main Road Administration at the Council of Ministers was organized, I worked for 12 years as secretary to the head of Jiglii. I worked for the state for more than 40 years and in 1990 I retired. In order to build a house for children, I started construction work in Bayankhoshuu. Performed work on the alignment of the soil.

Journalist: You are a good organizer. Of course, the role of mother is great when there are many sons, and everyone creates their own family.

Wife: When I followed my husband, I learned a lot. My husband and I are not used to share homework for woman and man. My husband is often busy with his work. First of all, puts official work. And I stay at home and do soil leveling work, etc. When my husband and children come home, it is my turn to rest. In front of the house, which we built for the first time in Bayankhoshuu, there was a large pit. We put 40 truck troughs in there and leveled the site. A new house was built at the same place for the sons. The diligence of my husband is the basis of today’s well-being of our children. In our youth, we continuously worked; there was little free time. We did everything at the same time and succeeded in everything. My husband is still a good teacher. His student is the Hero of Mongolia.

Journalist: Happiness and misfortune of those who work in this field are bound to your work and life. The second generation of your family is already working in the road sector. Please tell us about the features of your work?

Husband: In 1961, I graduated from the Railway Technical School with a degree in “Engineer of road and bridge construction”. After arriving from Khovd province, I began working at the Road Construction Trust. Mongolia in 1965 began the construction of bridges. Prior to that, the road organization was engaged in the construction of wooden bridges and gravel roads. In the 1960s, the Bridge Construction Brigade was created and construction began on asphalt, concrete roads and concrete bridges. I got a job as a foreman in this brigade at the Road Administration. Our team later expanded and became an office with five brigades, and with brigades to work in the city and province. I mostly traveled on a business trip to the provinces. My wife also traveled with me until the 1980s.

In the 1980s, we built the Hurt Bridge in the province of Selenge. After putting it into operation, we moved to Ulaanbaatar. After arriving home, I was appointed as a head of the office for the construction of roads and bridges. Until 1990, I worked there. During privatization, our team collapsed, and on its basis five companies were formed. Each brigade was named after the rivers: Tuul, Herlen, Murun. New companies were named with the same names. An independent material production company was formed, as well as our company “Steel Bridge”. Our company began to deal exclusively with the construction of bridges. The bridge has its own characteristics compared to the road. My job is a bit similar to building work, is difficult. Those new five companies inherited the work of the former brigades and continued the construction of bridges and roads with the workers of the former brigades. Those five companies are successfully operating to this day. After privatization, I worked as the Chief Engineer in the “Steel Bridge” company and in 1995 I retired. But to this day, I work as an adviser, as well as a Chairman of the Management Board in the “Steel Bridge” company. My son, who runs the “Steel Bridge” company, graduated from the University of Construction in the Russian Federation with a degree in Engineering. Later he studied Engineering of a road and bridge construction.

Journalist: Please name the bridges which you built?

Husband: I am a man of the time when we began to build concrete bridges. For the first time, the Concrete Bridge Construction Brigade was formed at the Office of the Road. In 1965, we built our first building - the bridge to Zaisan. The second is the bridge in the Zaamar soum, the third is in the area near Tavan tolgoi. On the river Tuul 4-5 bridges were built. Tashig Bridge in Bulgan Province, Hanui Bridge, Gurtiin Tavilan Bridge in Selenge Province, Buduun Bridge on the Friendship Collective Farm of Selenge Province, Bridge over the Kherlen River, Central Bridge of Hentii Province, North Bridge over Onon River, bridge over the river Khalkh. The first bridge, which was built by our company “Steel Bridge”, is a bridge to Zaisan. Since then, our company has completed the construction of more than 40 bridges. If we look at the history of our road sector, then our Road Administration had a brigade and office in all the provinces, it was an extensive organization. Only brigade of bridge construction was transformed into an office. It was a large organization with 300-400 employees, 4-5 teams, with its own factory for the production of materials.

Journalist: It is clear from your conversation that your family played an important role in the construction of Mongolia in socialist time. Along with this huge responsibility, you raised six children. And who was more responsible for raising children? As the head of the family, how do you think?

Husband: After I completed the construction of the bridge to Zaisan and received a business trip to build the Ovoot Bridge, my wife took care of the children, raised them, she bore the brunt of family concerns. I first of all always put official work. I did not know all the subtleties of family affairs and concerns. My wife took care of the children, their education, sewed clothes for them, cooked for the family. All her life she performs the main duties of our family, she is the leader of our family. She gave birth to my six children and raised them. My successful work is one thing, but my wife always stood behind me, like a strong wall, and did all domestic work. When the children got married, she built a new house for everyone. She is a good teacher. Who came to visit us, never said that we have a large family. Home comfort and order are all the merits of my wife.

Journalist: You respect your wife, with whom you have lived for 60 years, and call her “the leader of the house.” Currently, I see that some young families do not get along, often arguing.

Husband: I believe that every person has the second half. It is, as it were, destined. At our age, she is everything that I have. I am very grateful to my wife. Spouses become real parents when already at the old age. When we grow old, we remember our parents and want to be just like them. Being one family means having unity. If husband and wife judge and blame each other, how can they live happily? Therefore, young people should understand this harmony.

Journalist: Please describe your wife. What was she like when you met? Did you take her secretly with you to Khovd province?

Husband: No, secretly did not go /laughs/. My wife is Bayat by ethnicism. When we met first, she studied at the finance faculty. Before I graduated, I met her. And when I received a business trip to Khovd province, she went with me, and we began our life together there. We have lived together for 60 years. We have six children, and together with our great-grandchildren we already have more than 30 people in our family.

Journalist: Your husband says that he paid attention to official work. What method did you use for raising six children? For you, who lived between sunrise and sunset, I see that in your youth there was not even time for a quarrel?

Wife: Yes, for sure. Those who work in the road industry are well aware. When we worked in the countryside, our children studied in the schools of soum. At that time, we saw children once a week. And it was also difficult for children to move from one school to another. But the road-bridge construction brigades were successfully organized, and schools and hospitals began to operate at the teams. We had a good organization. We lived near the rivers. Near the rivers there is a risk that children may fall into it. Therefore, a team of 20 families moved from one place to another, like a farm. And we collaborated with the head of the soums and organized a kindergarten. We were appreciated that we had a successful distribution and organization. From our office for the construction of bridges two Labor Heroes and four Honored Engineers were born. My husband, after putting the bridge in operation, was awarded the Order of the Hero of Labor of Mongolia for his services.

Journalist: You also worked diligently, as did your husband. How was your work appreciated?

Wife: I gave birth to six children. Therefore, I was awarded the Order of the Famous Mother of the first and second degree. For achievements in the road industry was named “Advanced Worker of the Road Industry”. And I also received many accolades, diplomas and other awards.

Journalist: The childhood of your children was different from others. Probably, they faced many issues. They often moved from one place to another, often changed schools, each time they were met by a new environment.

Husband: Our children grew up close to nature, in the air, most importantly, close to work. Compared to today’s parents, we did not scold the children. To make a person out of children, you need to speak well with them and explain everything. Today, of course, parents take better care of children compared to us. I believe that children are a copy of their parents. We always warned children not to drink alcohol, not to engage in trade, but to study well. Our children are educated and do everything as we say. They did not swear and did not fight among themselves. We also believe that we have raised children well. When people came to visit us, our home so quiet, as if there were no children. So we raised our children. Most importantly, we teach them to live correctly, to respect elders, to respect each other. And when they grew up, we began to tell them that they need to work well, to contribute to the development of the country, to have a soul for the motherland. Our family prays the state symbol, and we worship it.

Wife: Of course, the role of the mother is huge to the upbringing and education of children. Children grow up looking at their parents. Our family has a deep tradition to respect others. When people come to visit, we set the table, treat, often build a feast. If the family is kind, then the guests leave the house with good words. Of course, if you are well treated and have a pleasant conversation, then of course, every guest will be glad and will say good words. Our three younger children were born in the provinces. Ganguur was born when his father commissioned the Ovoot Bridge. At that time, Ministers came from the capital to receive the bridge. At that time, the Minister of Construction Telekhan arrived. And I received news that the Minister would come to visit us to drink my tea. Then Ganguur was only a few days. And I had to get out of bed and make tea for the Minister. At that time, the Chief Engineer Gurragchaa gave my son the name “Ganguur”, which in English means “steel bridge”. I remember that at that time the program named “Steel Bridge” was shown on TV.

Journalist: You have four daughters-in-law and two sons-in-law. To make someone else’s child native also requires the mind. How did you meet the brides and grooms of your children?

Wife: I treat them like my children. I bring them up and teach them in the same way as I raised and taught my children. My daughters-in-law today live according to my principle: they succeed both in work and in family matters. They teach their children to imitate the grandmother’s example. I love and treat daughters-in-law like my two daughters. My daughters-in-law has no flaws. They exactly follow the principle by which I took care of my husband and raised my children.

Journalist: At one time, our country experienced a social transition. Much has changed, there was not enough food. At this time, how much did you sew? Sewing clothes for children with your own hands and buying them - this is not the same?

Wife: When the children were small, I always sew clothes for them: pants, shirt, T-shirt. I did not consider sewing as a burden. After work, in my free time, on weekends I was engaged in sewing. Stitched deeli to order. Now I tell the children that they should not buy ready-made products. Even if you cook, the dough must be crumpled by yourself. Of course, it’s good when you buy ready-made products. But I want them to prefer homemade food.

Journalist: Once I heard a beautiful phrase: “Pregnancy is not a disease.” In your youth you traveled through the countryside with your husband. And giving birth to many children is not easy work either.

Wife: I was engaged in work until the very last days before giving the birth. I had no serious complaints. Sometimes I went to a soum’s hospital. I got pregnant nine times. I gave the birth to three youngest children at home. Familiar grandmother of the area where we lived, took birth. So I gave birth to two. When contractions begin, I prepare the bed and pillow myself, as in a maternity hospital. I have never been afraid of childbirth. Did not shout, did not moan, but why bother others. When I gave birth, I tolerated it so that I never screamed. One of my colleagues once said: “Probably you are insane. You never moaned during childbirth. Before me, women even gave birth on pasture. My mother gave birth to my brother alone in the pasture and came, wrapping him in her clothes. So I didn’t even need to moan at all. The very next day after birth, I began to do household chores. I do not think that at that time the rules were precisely followed after childbirth. We dressed warmly, of course, and covered ears for a week.

Journalist: Were you near your wife when she gave birth? There is a popular saying, “Two skeletons separated”, which means the difficulty of childbirth.

Husband: Yes, of course, not easy. Later I began to fear that my wife would give birth at home. Therefore, I was persuading her to go to the maternity hospital. Although the man - the stronger sex. But to see the birth, of course, is not easy. To give birth to a person is not an easy job. I want to tell young people: “Love your husbands and wives. Care about each other”.

Journalist: What games does your family play for the traditional Lunar New Year?

Wife: In our family, the game of “shagai” (“lamb ankle”) has a special place. On the traditional Lunar New Year or when many guests gather, we play it. This month our grandson was born. For him, I specially prepared 800 shagai.

Thank you for the

interview. Journalist, Editor Shurentsetseg Yu.


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