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Dogmid Sosorbaram, Mongolia's singing democracy crusader

Dogmid Sosorbaram poses in front of a statue of Genghis Khan in a suburb of Ulaanbaatar. (Photo by Akiyoshi Inoue)

ULAANBAATAR -- Dogmid Sosorbaram was born in 1958 into a nomadic family in southern central Mongolia. As a child, he passed many hours sitting astride his horse and singing songs while he watched the moon. This experience instilled in him a love of Mongolian music that would eventually set him on the path of political activist.

As a university student, Sosorbaram majored in theatrical performance. He graduated in 1982 and joined the national theater as an actor. But Mongolia at the time was a satellite of the Soviet Union, and Sosorbaram was forced to perform in dramas praising socialism. "I was tired," he recalled.

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