Interviewee Profile

Name: Thupten Rangjung
(Alias: Yes)

Gender: Male

Interview Age: 74

Date of Birth: 1936

Birthplace: N/A

Year Left Tibet: 1959

Profession: Monk

Monk/Nun: Currently

Political Prisoner: No

Interview Details

Interview No.: 34M

Date: 2010-04-13

Language: Tibetan

Location: Doeguling Settlement, Mundgod, Karnataka, India

Categories: Buddhist Traditions

Keywords: childhood memories, Chinese -- first appearance of, Chushi Gangdrug guerrillas, escape experiences, festivals, Kham, monastic life


Thupten Rangjung remembers going swimming and swinging on the trees as a child. His family engaged in farming as well as rearing animals. Though self-sufficient, his family occasionally took loans from rich families and monasteries if they did not have enough food. He narrates the process of taking a loan, payment of interest and what happens in the event a loan is not repaid.

Thupten Rangjung became a monk at the age of 7, but continued to live at home and help on the farm until the age of 16 when he traveled to Lhasa and enrolled in the Gaden Monastery. He describes in detail the process of becoming a monk, starting from the 'hair-cutting' ceremony and the next two stages of vows a monk undertakes. He spent most of his time studying and was happy at the monastery.

According to Thupten Rangjung, the Chinese first appeared in his birthplace of Ba in the beginning of 1947 and he remembers their clothing and food. He was living at Gaden Monastery when Lhasa was attacked in 1959 after which the monks were told to leave. He talks about joining the Chushi Gangdrug [Defend Tibet Volunteer Force] during his escape and the exciting encounters with the Chinese forces.

Interview Team:

  • Marcella Adamski (Interviewer)
  • Tenzin Yangchen (Interpreter)
  • Pema Tashi (Videographer)
Interview Video

Link: Watch On Youtube

Topic: Interview with Thupten Rangjung (alias) on 4/13/2010

Length: 01:59:50

Short Videos

Link: Watch On Youtube

Topic: Becoming a Monk in Tibet

Length: 00:01:17

Link: Watch On Youtube

Topic: Tibet was an Independent Nation

Length: 00:01:20

© 2009-2018 Tibet Oral History Project. These translations and transcripts are provided for individual research purposes only. For all other uses, including publication, reproduction and quotation beyond fair use, permission must be obtained in writing from: Tibet Oral History Project, P.O. Box 6464, Moraga, CA 94570-6464. Privacy Policy