Name: Tsering Dolma
Interview Age: 85
Date of Birth: 1930
Birthplace: Kampo, Utsang, Tibet
Year Left Tibet: 1959
Profession: Farming, Herding
Political Prisoner: No
Interview No.: 40N
Location: Paljorling, Pokhara, Gandaki, Nepal
Categories: Culture and History
Keywords: childhood memories, customs/traditions, escape experiences, marriage practices, refugee in Nepal -- life as, Utsang
Tsering Dolma was born in Kampo in Utsang when her mother was 50 years old. She talks about her family and her own marriage arranged by her parents when she was 17. After living several years in her husband's village and having one daughter, her husband was sent by a government official to work in Lhasa. Her husband never returned to her, but sent permission for Tsering Dolma to return to her own parents. Her in-laws provided her with jewelry and animals so that Tsering Dolma could live on her own with her daughter.
Tsering Dolma returned to her parents' village but lived in her own house. Her family farmed and raised animals as well. She worked in the fields, but she was happiest when weaving aprons and braiding hair to earn a living. She was not interested in marrying again since her first marriage did not work out and she was successfully raising her daughter with the help of her extended family members. Tsering Dolma explains how marriages used to be arranged by the parents and the brides where taken to the future husbands' villages on the pretext of visiting lamas or relatives.
Tsering Dolma recounts seeing Chinese in her village for the first time and her family soon decided to escape. They trekked over mountains and through snowfall, suffering for two months before reaching safety in Mustang, Nepal. She lived in Thakola for 10 years where she earned a living harvesting crops and weaving before moving to the settlement in Pokhara.
- Marcella Adamski (Interviewer)
- Henry Tenenbaum (Videographer)
- Palden Tsering (Interpreter)