Interviewee Profile

Name: Sangyal Tashi
(Alias: No)

Gender: Male

Interview Age: 73

Date of Birth: 1940

Birthplace: Serchuthi, Kham, Tibet

Year Left Tibet: 1959

Profession: N/A

Monk/Nun: Previously

Political Prisoner: No

Interview Details

Interview No.: 6C

Date: 2013-05-04

Language: Tibetan

Location: Richmond, California, United States

Categories: Chinese Invasion and Occupation

Keywords: childhood memories, Chinese -- first appearance of, Chushi Gangdrug guerrillas, education, escape experiences, farm life, herding, Kham, March 10th Uprising, monasteries -- relationship with , monastic life, trade


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.

Interview Team:

  • Marcella Adamski (Interviewer)
  • Jeddadiah Emanuel (Videographer)
  • Tenzin Tsedup Wangdu (Interpreter)
Interview Video

Link: Watch On Youtube

Topic: Interview with Sangyal Tashi on 5/4/2013

Length: 02:24:47

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