Interview Age: 77
Date of Birth: 1935
Birthplace: Tsawa Gokyamthang, Kham, Tibet
Year Left Tibet: 1959
Political Prisoner: No
Interview No.: 48D
Location: Tashi Jong, Tashi Jong, Himachal Pradesh, India
Categories: Culture and History
Keywords: childhood memories, Chushi Gangdrug guerrillas, customs/traditions, escape experiences, Chinese -- first appearance of, government/administration, herding, Kham, nomadic life, taxes, marriage practices, songs/opera
Norga's was a nomadic family that led a happy and contented life living in the mountains. He talks about the daily life of the nomads: how they spent their time taking the animals to graze, changing locations in summer and winter, and moving between tents and houses. Norga recalls being given the responsibility of grazing young animals at the age of 6 or 7 when a child was considered old enough to work.
Norga's mother was married to three brothers. He explains the many advantages the system of polygamy. He also describes how the entire village was organized and the various levels of authorities who decided when to move, settled disputes and awarded punishments to criminals. Norga sings a love song and talks about how songs were a part of courtship in Tibet.
Norga recounts that battles with the Chinese in other parts of Kham did not affect his community, but he decided to leave for Lhasa to join three of his brothers there. Soon after, he volunteered to join the Chushi Gangdrug Defend Tibet Volunteer Force. He gives an account of his active participation in resisting the Chinese army and details his two battles during which some men were killed despite their protective amulets. Many of the Chushi Gangdrug were finally forced to flee, unable to match the Chinese in number and weapons. They were often without food on the dangerous escape as they made their way through tribal jungles of India.
- Marcella Adamski (Interviewer)
- Tenzin Yangchen (Interpreter)
- Pema Tashi (Videographer)