Interview Age: 81
Date of Birth: 1934
Birthplace: Bungpa, Utsang, Tibet
Year Left Tibet: 1939
Political Prisoner: No
Interview No.: 31N
Location: Tashiling, Pokhara, Gandaki, Nepal
Categories: Culture and History
Keywords: childhood memories, customs/traditions, refugee in Nepal -- life as, nomadic life, Utsang
Tsekay was born in Bungpa Bupthoe, Utsang Province where there were 100-200 nomad families living scattered on the hills in tents. As a child she had chores such as herding animals, milking and grinding tsampa 'flour made from roasted barley.' She recalls the beautiful colored flowers that covered the hills and plains, which the children played with.
Tsekay describes the distribution of work between men and women. The men travelled to the Changthang 'Northern Plateau' to gather salt and then went to Nepal to barter it for food grains while the women stayed home to look after the animals and weave clothing. She says a nomad's life was hard but there was freedom.
When her family heard that the Chinese were coming they feared difficult times were ahead and decided to escape to Nepal. But without their animals and unable to speak the language, life was difficult for her in exile.
- Marcella Adamski (Interviewer)
- Tenzin Yangchen (Interpreter)
- Dhiraj Kafle (Videographer)