Name: Sangyal Tashi
Interview Age: 73
Date of Birth: 1940
Birthplace: Serchuthi, Kham, Tibet
Year Left Tibet: 1959
Political Prisoner: No
Interview No.: 6C
Location: Richmond, California, United States
Categories: Chinese Invasion and Occupation
Keywords: childhood memories, Chushi Gangdrug guerrillas, education, escape experiences, farm life, Chinese -- first appearance of, herding, Kham, March 10th Uprising, monastic life, trade, monasteries -- relationship with
Sangyal Tashi was born as the youngest of five siblings in the village of Serchuthi where the population was 700-800. The pastoral farmers raised yaks, dzo 'animals bred from a yak and a cow,' horses and mules and cultivated barley, peas and wheat. Sangyal Tashi gives an account of the duties of each family member and the relationship of the local monasteries with the villagers. He attended school at Karze Monastery and learned to read and write.
The Chinese appeared in Sangyal Tashi's village around 1947-48. He explains how the Chinese initially formed a relationship with local leaders, gaining their confidence and gradually controlling the whole village. One Chinese officer stayed in his house and advised the family to flee to Lhasa where it would be safer. Sangyal Tashi and his brother left for Lhasa together where Sangyal Tashi joined the Gyumed Monastery at the age of 18.
Sangyal Tashi provides a first-hand account of the vigil at Norbulingka Palace in March of 1959, explaining why the people protested. He witnessed the Chinese bombardment of the palace. He then talks about the courageous role played by the Chushi Gangdrug Defend Tibet Volunteer Force in confronting the Chinese and saving many people's lives. Lastly he narrates his escape journey and the death one of his brothers to Chinese bullets.
- Marcella Adamski (Interviewer)
- Jeddadiah Emanuel (Videographer)
- Tenzin Tsedup Wangdu (Interpreter)