Interviewee Profile

Name: Dakpa Samdup
(Alias: No)

Gender: Male

Interview Age: 75

Date of Birth: 1937

Birthplace: Lhasa, Utsang, Tibet

Year Left Tibet: 1959

Profession: Business

Monk/Nun: No

Political Prisoner: No

Interview Details

Interview No.: 8D

Date: 2012-05-15

Language: Tibetan

Location: Mcleod Ganj, Dharamsala, Himachal Pradesh, India

Categories: Resistance and Revolution

Keywords: childhood memories, Chinese -- first appearance of, Chushi Gangdrug guerrillas, education, escape experiences, festivals, guerrillas in Mustang, refugee in India -- life as, tenant farmers, trade, Utsang


Dakpa Samdup's parents came from Kham and settled in Lhasa where he was born. He was educated for a few years at a private tutor's home where learned to write Tibetan script. His father traveled from place to place trading different goods such as, rice, wheat, cloth, horses, mules and guns. Later Dakpa Samdup and his sister moved to Medo Balo where his family leased a large estate owned by the monastery, which was partially divided up and provided to tenant farmers. These tenants had to provide one family member each to work for the estate-holder in return for their own land use. Dakpa Samdup describes how such a system works as well as a similar exchange for managing livestock.

Dakpa Samdup recounts his first encounter with the Chinese and the formation of the Chushi Gangdrug Defend Tibet Volunteer Force by Andrug Gonpo Tashi to resist the Chinese invasion. Dakpa Samdup joined the organization and describes the tactics employed by the guerrillas to fight against the Chinese.

Dakpa Samdup recounts his experience of the grueling escape to India over snow-covered mountain passes with his fellow Chushi Gangdrug soldiers and 50 Chinese prisoners-of-war. He then spent two years in Mustang helping the Chushi Gangdrug continue their fight against the Chinese using training and equipment from America.

Interview Team:

  • Rebecca Novick (Interviewer)
  • Ronny Novick (Videographer)
  • Thupten Kelsang Dakpa (Interpreter)
Interview Video

Link: Watch On Youtube

Topic: Interview with Dakpa Samdup on 5/15/2012

Length: 01:49:21

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