Name: Dakpa Samdup
Interview Age: 75
Date of Birth: 1937
Birthplace: Lhasa, Utsang, Tibet
Year Left Tibet: 1959
Political Prisoner: No
Interview No.: 8D
Location: Mcleod Ganj, Dharamsala, Himachal Pradesh, India
Categories: Resistance and Revolution
Keywords: childhood memories, Chushi Gangdrug guerrillas, education, escape experiences, festivals, Chinese -- first appearance of, guerrillas in Mustang, refugee in India -- life as, trade, Utsang, tenant farmers
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.
- Rebecca Novick (Interviewer)
- Ronny Novick (Videographer)
- Thupten Kelsang Dakpa (Interpreter)