Interview Age: 74
Date of Birth: 1936
Birthplace: Tsang Nyero, Utsang, Tibet
Year Left Tibet: 1959
Profession: Dairy Farming, Farming
Political Prisoner: No
Interview No.: 66M
Location: Doeguling Settlement, Mundgod, Karnataka, India
Categories: Oppression and Imprisonment
Keywords: childhood memories, Chinese -- first appearance of, Chinese -- oppression under, Chinese rule -- life under, escape experiences, farm life, forced labor, herding, imprisonment, thamzing/struggle sessions, Utsang
Kyizom hailed from the village of Tsang Samtenling near Gyangtse. Her family farmed as well as engaged in raising animals. During summertime they lived in a huge tent made from the hair of yak and grazed their animals in the grasslands. They returned home in time for the harvest each year. As a child, Kyizom along with her large dog, helped herd the yaks and sheep.
Kyizom recalls that when the Chinese first appeared in her village, the children were terrified and distrusted them. The Chinese wearing blue or yellow uniforms lured the villagers with gifts, but gradually changed their attitude and then started oppressing the Tibetan people. Kyizom and her family were forced to move to the ground floor of her house and Chinese officials occupied the second floor. The Chinese distributed all her family's animals to village beggars.
Kyizom witnessed the thamzing 'struggle session' of her father and aunt, who was the umze 'chant leader' of the local nunnery. Kyizom vividly describes the horrible way they were humiliated in front of the whole village. Both her father and aunt were subjected to thamzing two more times and then imprisoned where they eventually died, most likely from starvation. Kyizom feared for her safety and fled to India through Bhutan with many others from her village. The normal 2-day journey took 15 days in order to hide from the Chinese.
- Rebecca Novick (Interviewer)
- Ronny Novick (Videographer)
- Namgyal Tsering (Interpreter)