9 Ağustos 2018 Perşembe
TNT Mongolia Edition: Little Lady With Great Spunk
The Mongol Messenger, 8 August 2018
Mongolia’s shortest person alive J.Ichinkhorloo shares the story of
her extraordinary life
Women who are shorter than 130 cm and men shorter than 140 cm are
recognized as “little people” in Mongolia. The shortest person ever-recorded
is Ms. Ichinkhorloo Jurmed living in Choibalsan, Dornod Aimag.
It was noted in the fourth series of the ‘Compendium of Mongolian Secrets’,
the record book of Mongolia published in 1990, that “
The shortest person
Mongolia J.Ichinkhorloo was born in 1951 in Choibalsan of Dornod
. She is 90 cm tall and weighs 36 kg”. She was followed by Zina
Dovdon, born in 1953 in Ulaanbaatar (117cm) and Dolgor Sodnompil,
born in 1947
Her unique short stature is caused by dwarfism, although both her parents
did not have the syndrome and are of ordinary height as well as her older
“A local nurse comes every month and measures my height
and weight. As I remember I weighed 28 kilograms and
65 cm tall, according to the latest measurement. When
young I was 90 cm tall. I feel like I’m shrinking as the
go by” said Ichinkhorloo in an interview with gogo.mn
In a TV interview with MNC channel, broadcasted last month, she said
“Although, doctors explained I had some kind of syndrome, I always
believed it had something to do with a curse from nature. My mom used
to tell me that, when she was in labor before giving birth to me, she
accidentally fell into a headspring of a river when the wheel of our oxcart
broke on the way to the hospital. I think that is when I was cursed”.
Headsprings of rivers are considered sacred in Mongolian culture. It is a
common belief that bathing in or muddling water in spring can pose great
danger to the muddler’s life as it infuriates the water-spirits.
Ichinkhorloo was born, raised and still lives in her hometown. Owning 20
cows for milking, 30-40 sheep and over 200 goats, she is just an ordinary
livestock herder. “I taught myself how to read and write when I was of
school age by having a piece of 'Dul' (Flame) newspaper around and
trying to read some of it. I also taught myself numbers. I can count up
to one million. That is, I think, an impressive performance for me”.
“My parents refused to send me to school because they
were worried that I would be mocked and humiliated and
also because most of the parents in those days did not want
their children to go to school”, she reminisced.
Ichinkhorloo spent her childhood when Mongolia had a population of only
845.5 thousand and over 20 million livestock to herd. Children in the
countryside were a major help for their parents in day-to-day activities
such as chasing the herds of sheep, goats, cattle and horses to pastures,
and returning the herds back home in the evening, milking cows, making
dairy products, cooking and tailoring clothes for the family and many
Nomadic lifestyle, in general, requires each and every family to be
self-sustaining manufacturers of their own needs due to the sparse
population and the fact that households always had to move from one
place to another for better grazing lands depending on the respective
climate for each period of the year.
Ichinkhorloo’s mother was a skilled tailor of Deel (Mongolian traditional
costume). “Nobody taught anything to me. They would let me watch and
help. That was enough for me to learn how to make a nice Deel for people
who requested one. My father always brought me the latest editions of
school books so that I could study them in my spare time, and I did”.
Ichinkhorloo said the state grants her a monthly benefit of Tgs 103,600 as
a disability grant. “I wish it went up to at least Tgs 200,000 and that I
would be able to take 2-3 months of benefits in advance so that I could
prepare for Tsagaan Sar (Mongolian lunar new year). Unfortunately it is
not possible, because I haven’t paid any social insurance deductibles
since I have never been employed in my life”, she said in the interview.
Her daily routine includes waking up by dawn to milk the cows after
relentless effort of towering up little chairs
, and if the cow moves away,
having to do that over again, as well as cooking meals for the kind-
hearted people who are herding her sheep and goats in the morning,
bringing water from the well, feeding her five bottle-fed goatlings, and
giving hay away for the cattle. “Running errands used to be a lot easier
before my grandson went to the army”, she sighed.
Ichinkhorloo, like any other women, had a chance at life as a mother.
She had a healthy son in 1971, after a necessary C-Section in
Ulaanbaatar due to her condition.
“Do you think my boy is little like me? He is normal, even
taller than average”, she said proudly. Her son Baljir lives
with his wife and two children. Before going into military
service, her grandson B.Tsendsuren helped Ichinkhorloo
most of the time.
She asks the heavens, mountains and rivers that “watch upon her” to
bestow a good wife to her favorite grandson Tsendsuren and give them
healthy babies. “That is my life’s wish”, she said.
“Good times have come and people became kinder, especially in
Ulaanbaatar. They do not make fun of me anymore. Young people would
come to me to pose for photographs.
It is different from the old times,
when children humiliated and called me a freak
. I am always also delighted
that my locality’s social welfare services show some privilege to me and
prepare all the documents as I sit, simply doing nothing”, she smiled.
Ichinkhorloo said that the situation in hospitals and any other places are
pretty much the same. Her son and grandchildren take her to Ulaanbaatar
for sightseeing. “They bring out a brand new wheelchair every time I visit
them in the city. It is comfortable to travel that way”, said Ichinkhorloo.
“After all, I am grateful to be born a human, not a dog or a bird.
I have been living my life to the fullest and reached the fine
age of my 60s. My only concern is if any of my great
grandchildren inherit my condition. I instruct them all to get
their children properly checked up from a young age”.
“I am right in mind, if not brighter than some people. It is positivity and mental
strength that counts in life”, said Ichinkhorloo.
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