Name: Tsering Dekyi
Interview Age: 73
Date of Birth: 1942
Birthplace: Nakyaling, Utsang, Tibet
Year Left Tibet: 1959
Political Prisoner: No
Interview No.: 46N
Location: Jampaling, Tanahun, Gandaki, Nepal
Categories: Culture and History
Keywords: childhood memories, escape experiences, refugee in Nepal -- life as, nomadic life, Utsang
Tsering Dekyi was born in a nomadic family with seven children in Utsang Province. As nomads her family depended upon the sheep and yaks for their livelihood. Her father travelled twice each year to trade dairy products for grain in order to provide food for his family. Her mother stayed at home and the older children went out each day to graze the animals.
Tsering Dekyi recounts how they used the animals coloring and sometimes attached prayer flags on the animals in order to identify them. Occasionally wolves attacked the flock of sheep, but the children were powerless to stop them.
Tsering Dekyi's family heard about the invading Chinese army which prompted them to flee to Nepal. It took them 15-20 days to reach Dolpa. Many of their animals died along the way due to snowfall and lack of fodder and the family themselves had very little food. After reaching Nepal Tsering Dekyi begged for food and worked as a farm hand for local landowners.
- Tenzin Yangchen (Interpreter)
- Katharine Davies Samway (Interviewer)
- Henry Tenenbaum (Videographer)