Name: Kalsang Yulgial
Interview Age: 67
Date of Birth: 1947
Birthplace: Phari, Utsang, Tibet
Year Left Tibet: 1959
Political Prisoner: No
Interview No.: 30C
Location: Seattle, Washington, United States
Categories: Chinese Invasion and Occupation
Keywords: childhood memories, education, escape experiences, refugee in India -- life as, Chinese rule -- life under, Tibetan Government-in-exile, trade, Utsang
Kalsang Yulgial was born in Phari bordering Sikkim in India. He describes Phari as a trading town where many different types of goods were transferred in and out of India. He was lucky to have the opportunity to attend a private school and he describes the curriculum and methods used for teaching. After the Chinese invasion, the Chinese closed all the Tibetan schools and sent the children to a large Chinese-run school in Phari. Some of the students, including Kalsang Yulgial, were later sent to a Chinese school in Lhasa, but they began to suspect the Chinese education was separating them from Tibetan language and culture.
Kalsang Yulgial was selected by the Chinese to go to a school in China. He explains how the family evaded this by sending him on a trade mission with his stepfather. By the time they returned many Tibetans had started fleeing from the Chinese through Phari. He recounts the circumstances under which his family made their escape journey through Bhutan and into India.
Kalsang Yulgial describes his education in India, then in Denmark and Iran where he received vocational training. He recounts the various positions that he held under the Tibetan government-in-exile after his return to India, starting as a mechanic and finally as a representative of a large refugee settlement.
- Marcella Adamski (Interviewer)
- Tony Sondag (Videographer)