Name: Sonam Tashi
Interview Age: 80
Date of Birth: 1935
Birthplace: Gerge, Utsang, Tibet
Year Left Tibet: 1959
Political Prisoner: No
Interview No.: 37N
Location: Paljorling, Pokhara, Gandaki, Nepal
Categories: Culture and History
Keywords: childhood memories, escape experiences, refugee in Nepal -- life as, nomadic life, trade, Utsang, food/drink, salt trade
Sonam Tashi was born in Gerge in Utsang Province; his parents had five children. As a child he recalls herding animals and accompanying his father to the valleys of India and Nepal to trade salt that they had collected in their region. As nomads they spent their time taking care of yaks, goats and sheep, making dairy products and gathering salt. Sonam Tashi describes the kind of food they ate in different seasons and the preservation of meat.
Sonam Tashi recalls how the nomads became unhappy after the appearance of the Chinese. Although he did not encounter any Chinese directly, other people of the village spoke in fear about the coming of the Chinese army and began to move their flocks towards the mountain passes of Nepal.
Under such circumstances, Sonam Tashi's family decided to also flee. He recounts driving their large flock to Nepal, but the animals died due to starvation and a landslide while crossing over the mountains passes. They had to learn to survive by farming and serving as porters in Nepal.
- Marcella Adamski (Interviewer)
- Henry Tenenbaum (Videographer)
- Palden Tsering (Interpreter)