Name: Thupten Rangjung
Interview Age: 74
Date of Birth: 1936
Year Left Tibet: 1959
Political Prisoner: No
Interview No.: 34M
Location: Doeguling Settlement, Mundgod, Karnataka, India
Categories: Buddhist Traditions
Keywords: childhood memories, Chushi Gangdrug guerrillas, escape experiences, festivals, Chinese -- first appearance of, 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.
- Marcella Adamski (Interviewer)
- Tenzin Yangchen (Interpreter)
- Pema Tashi (Videographer)
Link: Watch On Youtube
Topic: Interview with Thupten Rangjung (alias) on 4/13/2010