Interviewee Profile

Name: Kalsang Yulgial
(Alias: No)

Gender: Male

Interview Age: 67

Date of Birth: 1947

Birthplace: Phari, Utsang, Tibet

Year Left Tibet: 1959

Profession: N/A

Monk/Nun: No

Political Prisoner: No

Interview Details

Interview No.: 30C

Date: 2014-11-15

Language: English

Location: Seattle, Washington, United States

Categories: Chinese Invasion and Occupation

Keywords: childhood memories, Chinese rule -- life under, education, escape experiences, refugee in India -- life as, 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.

Interview Team:

  • Marcella Adamski (Interviewer)
  • Tony Sondag (Videographer)
Interview Video

Link: Watch On Youtube

Topic: Interview with Kalsang Yulgial on 11/15/2014

Length: 01:00:01

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