Interviewee Profile

Name: Dawa Dolma
(Alias: No)

Gender: Female

Interview Age: 83

Date of Birth: 1924

Birthplace: Toe Yancho Tanga, Utsang, Tibet

Year Left Tibet: 1959

Profession: Farming

Monk/Nun: No

Political Prisoner: No

Interview Details

Interview No.: 77

Date: 2007-07-05

Language: Tibetan

Location: Dickey Larsoe Settlement, Bylakuppe, Karnataka, India

Categories: Culture and History

Keywords: childhood memories, Chinese -- first appearance of, Chinese rule -- life under, escape experiences, festivals, refugee in India -- life as, taxes, thamzing/struggle sessions, trade, Utsang


Dawa Dolma and her childhood friend, Tsamchoe, now in their eighties, recount their life experiences in Tibet. In summer, their village became a trading ground for a thousand traders who exchanged salt and grain. Nomads came with their goods, tents were set up, and Dawa's village became a lively market place for two weeks each year. The local people sold their wares such as woven carpets and clothes. A tax officer would come from Lhasa to collect taxes from the traders.

The lives of Dawa Dolma and Tsamchoe began to change after they both married and had to cope with the challenges of raising a family while earning a livelihood. The friends separated when Dawa Dolma left Tibet with her husband and child soon after the Chinese arrived in their village, fearing that her daughter would be taken to school in China.

Tsamchoe witnessed villagers being subjected to thamzing 'struggle sessions' inflicted by the Chinese. Tsamchoe and her family soon followed Dawa Dolma into exile, taking the same route through Nepal. Today, they are still friends and neighbors living in the same refugee settlement.

Interview Team:

  • Sue Gershenson (Interviewer)
  • Lhakpa Tsering (Interpreter)
  • Jeff Lodas (Videographer)
Interview Video

Link: Watch On Youtube

Topic: Interview with Dawa Dolma on 7/5/2007

Length: 01:37:28

© 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