Name: Namlang Tsering
Interview Age: 74
Date of Birth: 1941
Birthplace: Thoe Bawa, Utsang, Tibet
Year Left Tibet: 1959
Political Prisoner: No
Interview No.: 34N
Location: Tashiling, Pokhara, Gandaki, Nepal
Categories: Culture and History
Keywords: childhood memories, customs/traditions, escape experiences, Chinese -- first appearance of, refugee in Nepal -- life as, nomadic life, Utsang, houses/villages
Namlang Tsering was born in Thoe Bawa in Utsang Province, a large region with nearly 200 families. His family herded animals and as a child he enjoyed going with the servants to graze animals, especially to see the birth of lambs and foals. He gives an account of nomadic life and how they moved four times a year in search of grasslands but also had a permanent home where they kept their belongings.
Namlang Tsering shares his knowledge of house construction and the design, style, and materials used. Although nomadic families mainly lived in tents, they built homes to store their belongings and provide a place for the elders to retire. Namlang Tsering talks about his love of horse riding and how one can distinguish between a good and a bad horse.
When the Chinese first appeared they deceived Tibetans by giving dhayen 'Chinese silver coins' even for small favors and bribed the local leaders. Namlang Tsering heard news about the uprising in Lhasa and His Holiness the Dalai Lama's escape. His community decided to follow the Dalai Lama into exile, leaving everything behind. He says they were forced to live as beggars once they reached Nepal until the Red Cross provided rations to the refugees. Namlang Tsering still feels saddened by loss of his nomadic life in Tibet and the separation of his family members.
- Marcella Adamski (Interviewer)
- Tenzin Yangchen (Interpreter)
- Dhiraj Kafle (Videographer)