Interviewee Profile

Name: Tsering Norbu
(Alias: No)

Gender: Male

Interview Age: 78

Date of Birth: 1934

Birthplace: Phenpo, Utsang, Tibet

Year Left Tibet: 1959

Profession: Farming

Monk/Nun: No

Political Prisoner: No

Interview Details

Interview No.: 14D

Date: 2012-05-20

Language: Tibetan

Location: Mcleod Ganj, Dharamsala, Himachal Pradesh, India

Categories: Culture and History

Keywords: childhood memories, Chinese -- first appearance of, Dalai Lama -- escape, escape experiences, refugee in India -- life as, servitude, Utsang


Tsering Norbu is from a very small family from Phenpo in Utsang Province. His family engaged in farming and also raised animals. At the age of 18, Tsering Norbu came to Lhasa as a servant to a monastery called Gyurmey Datsang.

Tsering Norbu talks about his life at the monastery where he served for 15-16 years of service. He had a huge range of duties and responsibilities, as he was required to do whatever was asked of him. He received no wages, but was provided with a room, food and clothing. He was able to see His Holiness the Dalai Lama several times while living in Lhasa.

Tsering Norbu escaped to India along with the monks of Gyurmey Monastery after the Chinese attacked. He recalls their journey in the footsteps of the Dalai Lama through different regions in Tibet and finally arriving in Mon Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh, India. After first serving as a coolie, he then joined a special unit of the Indian Army and spent 12 years stationed as a secret soldier at the border between India and Nepal.

Interview Team:

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

Link: Watch On Youtube

Topic: Interview with Tsering Norbu on 5/20/2012

Length: 00:42:26

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