Interview Age: 84
Date of Birth: 1928
Birthplace: Dhongku, Amdo, Tibet
Year Left Tibet: 1959
Political Prisoner: No
Interview No.: 62D
Location: Mcleod Ganj, Dharamsala, Himachal Pradesh, India
Categories: Resistance and Revolution
Keywords: Amdo, Chushi Gangdrug guerrillas, farm life, Chinese -- first appearance of, Chinese army -- invasion by , resistance, monasteries -- relationship with
Norbugya was born in Dhongku in Amdo Province but grew up in Nangra. He recalls sadly that his father and elder sister passed away from an illness when he was 11 years old and later his grief stricken mother became blind. Norbugya grew up as a farmer and explains the types of crops he grew and how the neighbors assisted his mother with fieldwork. There were many monasteries nearby and Norbugya explains the circumstances when monks were requested to do prayers for the villagers.
Norbugya remembers that Chinese troops first appeared at Gangdu and the people of his region moved to the border to stop the Chinese. An armed unit consisting of men above the age of 18 and below the age of 60 was formed to resist the Chinese under the leadership of Khambu Wangchen. Norbugya recalls that they managed to stall the advancing Chinese for three years until supposedly 80,000 Chinese troops came and forced the Tibetans to surrender. The Chinese made Khambu Wangchen a leader and coerced him to subjugate the Tibetan people.
To escape further persecution after having all of his grain supply taken away by the Chinese, Norbugya fled to Lhasa without informing his wife and two sons, whom he later learned died from starvation. Many others starved to death as well and there were several suicides in his region. In Lhasa Norbugya joined the Chushi Gangdrug Defend Tibet Volunteer Force.
- Marcella Adamski (Interviewer)
- Tenzin Yangchen (Interpreter)
- Pema Tashi (Videographer)