Interview Age: 75
Date of Birth: 1935
Birthplace: Reting, Utsang, Tibet
Year Left Tibet: 1959
Political Prisoner: No
Interview No.: 11M
Location: Doeguling Settlement, Mundgod, Karnataka, India
Categories: Culture and History
Keywords: childhood memories, customs/traditions, education, escape experiences, Chinese -- first appearance of, herding, refugee in India -- life as, nomadic life, taxes, Utsang, childbirth, marriage practices
Lhamo was born in a nomadic family. As a child she grazed lambs and spent her time playing with other children. She recalls life as happy with plenty of good food to eat. She explains how the villagers elect their leader and the leader's responsibilities to the community. Marriages in those days were arranged by the parents and there was strict division of labor between men and women. Lhamo tells about nomadic village life including birthing, birth control, education and taxes.
Lhamo goes on to describe the sudden appearance in her village of Chinese on horseback, who "fired indiscriminately killing people and dogs." Then the village received the alarming news about children in Lhasa being taken away by the Chinese in vehicles. Subsequently the children of her village fled to the hills and were hidden there in bears' dens.
Fearing capture, a large group of people from the village escaped and struggled to reach Mustang in Nepal. Later they were taken to Dharamsala where she describes in detail her experience of her first audience with His Holiness the Dalai Lama. She constructed roads in Manali, Himachal Pradesh as a refugee and later was sent to Mundgod.
- Marcella Adamski (Interviewer)
- Tenzin Yangchen (Interpreter)
- Pema Tashi (Videographer)