Ochirara, a Torghut Cultural Activist
Ochirara worked in a rural film screening programme for almost thirty years. Because of the limited resources to show films on farmlands, he and his colleagues used to load their equipment on camels and yaks and toured all over the farms in Bayangol showing about 2,000 films and attracting around 550,000 locals in the thirty years in operation. After his retirement, Ochirara wrote a book about the history of the Tsaatan banner, in which he emphasises the importance of knowing family genealogy in order to avoid close-kin marriages. In the video, he says that not only is the history vanishing in speed, but the Tod Mongolian script is already on the verge of fading away. “I am very sad about this, but this book is all I could contribute for now”. Ochirara is currently working in a Torghut wrestling association based in Bayanbulag. He wants to standardize the traditional dresses worn in the so-called “trouser wrestling” (shalvar böh) and the judging system, so that they could be passed down to younger generations in an authentic way. In the interview, he has also given an extensive account of the changing Torghut administrative system from 1771 to recent years.