Interviewee Profile

Name: Phakya
(Alias: No)

Gender: Male

Interview Age: 79

Date of Birth: 1931

Birthplace: Zinang, Utsang, Tibet

Year Left Tibet: 1959

Profession: Farming

Monk/Nun: No

Political Prisoner: No

Interview Details

Interview No.: 41M

Date: 2010-04-12

Language: Tibetan

Location: Doeguling Settlement, Mundgod, Karnataka, India

Categories: Chinese Invasion and Occupation

Keywords: childhood memories, Chinese -- first appearance of, Chinese army -- invasion by , Chinese rule -- life under, Chushi Gangdrug guerrillas, Dalai Lama, environment/wildlife, forced labor, herding, thamzing/struggle sessions, Utsang


As a child, Phakya grazed animals with the other children of his village. He recollects the huge pasturelands and the games the children played while herding the animals. He describes an encounter with a Tibetan brown bear as it attacked his sheep. He talks about environmental protection through the Tibetan government law which forbade killing of wild animals, fishing and setting fire to the hills. Once he was older he helped with the farm work.

Phakya fondly recollects His Holiness the Dalai Lama and entourage passing through his village on a visit to China in 1954. He speaks about his involvement in the preparation for the Dalai Lama's travel such as pitching tents and building roads. He provides a detailed account of both the onward and return journeys of the Dalai Lama. The villagers had heard of battles in Kham and Amdo Provinces with the Chinese and realized that Mao Zedong's pledge to peacefully implement the "Liberation" would instead by a violent takeover of Tibet.

Phakya describes the thamzing 'struggle session' of the daughter of a wealthy family of Bhakashoe. He joined the Chushi Gangdrug [Defend Tibet Volunteer Force] and fought a battle against the Chinese. When the news that Lhasa had fallen and the Dalai Lama had left for India reached the guerrilla force, they began to flee towards India.

Interview Team:

  • Marcella Adamski (Interviewer)
  • Ronny Novick (Videographer)
  • Tenzin Yangchen (Interpreter)
Interview Video

Link: Watch On Youtube

Topic: Interview with Phakya on 4/12/2010

Length: 01:58:16

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