Interviewee Profile

Name: Samdup
(Alias: No)

Gender: Male

Interview Age: 68

Date of Birth: 1930

Birthplace: Gyashing, Utsang, Tibet

Year Left Tibet: 1960

Profession: Agriculture

Monk/Nun: No

Political Prisoner: No

Interview Details

Interview No.: 60

Date: 2007-06-28

Language: Tibetan

Location: Lugsung Samdupling Settlement, Bylakuppe, Karnataka, India

Categories: Culture and History

Keywords: Chinese -- first appearance of, death/burial customs, festivals, herding, myths/stories, refugee in India -- life as, trade, Utsang


Samdup gives a vivid account of his early idyllic life in Porang, a land surrounded by Tibet's snow-capped Himalayas. The traditions in Porang differed somewhat from the rest of Tibet, such as celebrating Losar, the Tibetan New Year, two months ahead of the official date. The celebrations lasted for many days with Tibetans from the whole district coming together for songs, dances and horse races.

Samdup recites a story that has been passed orally from generation to generation about the Khochar Jowo. It is the tale of how the Jowo [icons] of Jamphelyang, Chenrezig and Chakna Dorji were created. Samdup also describes the custom in his region of sky burials--leaving the corpses to be eaten by vultures.

When the Chinese arrived in Porang, they labeled Samdup a rebel because he worked for the monastery. Fearing capture, his family fled from their village, hiding some of their possessions with the hope that they would return to Tibet in a year or two.

Interview Team:

  • Rebecca Novick (Interviewer)
  • Ronny Novick (Videographer)
  • Tsering Dorjee (Interpreter)
Interview Video

Link: Watch On Youtube

Topic: Interview with Samdup on 6/28/2007

Length: 02:00:34

© 2009-2018 Tibet Oral History Project. These translations and transcripts are provided for individual research purposes only. For all other uses, including publication, reproduction and quotation beyond fair use, permission must be obtained in writing from: Tibet Oral History Project, P.O. Box 6464, Moraga, CA 94570-6464. Privacy Policy