Name: Lektse Norbu
Interview Age: 83
Date of Birth: 1932
Birthplace: Tsowar - Ngari, Utsang, Tibet
Year Left Tibet: 1959
Political Prisoner: No
Interview No.: 52N
Location: Tashi Palkhiel, Pokhara, Gandaki, Nepal
Categories: Culture and History
Keywords: escape experiences, refugee in Nepal -- life as, nomadic life, Utsang, marriage practices, salt trade
Lektse Norbu was born in Tsowar in the province of Utsang. His parents had six children and his father had passed away while he was young. Lektse Norbu belonged to a middle class family which owned 500 sheep and goats and 30 yaks. He recalls grazing animals since the age of 8 and migrating every three months in search of fresh grasslands. As nomads, the family lived in a tent. Later, Lektse Norbu helped his elder brother in collecting salt and trading it for grain.
Lektse Norbu married at the age of 24. He describes how property is divided once a son or a daughter gets married to start a new home. A few years later people from Kham, having fled their region, told the nomads about the atrocities of the Chinese. Fearing the same would happen in his village, he escaped to Nepal along with 15-16 other people.
The refugees arrived in Mustang and eventually their animals perished and they ran out of food. He describes the beginning of a new life in the Tibetan Settlement in Pokhara, where he worked in construction and farming and the refugees received foreign aid.
- Marcella Adamski (Interviewer)
- Tenzin Yangchen (Interpreter)
- Henry Tenenbaum (Videographer)