Interviewee Profile

Name: Tenzin Chokdup
(Alias: No)

Gender: Male

Interview Age: 45

Date of Birth: 1962

Birthplace: Phenpo, Utsang, Tibet

Year Left Tibet: 1986

Profession: Monk

Monk/Nun: Currently

Political Prisoner: No

Interview Details

Interview No.: 90

Date: 2007-07-07

Language: Tibetan

Location: Lugsung Samdupling Settlement, Bylakuppe, Karnataka, India

Categories: Oppression and Imprisonment

Keywords: brutality/torture, childhood memories, Chinese -- oppression under, Chinese rule -- life under, escape experiences, forced labor, refugee in India -- life as, starvation, thamzing/struggle sessions, Utsang


Born in 1962, Tenzin Chokdup's childhood was one of unimaginable suffering under the control of the Chinese. His family was labeled as ngadhak 'those holding leadership positions' by the Chinese, which made them targets for the worst abuse and degradations. He recounts the horrifying methods used during thamzing 'struggle sessions' when people were violently beaten and degraded by ex-servants who were "brain-washed" and intimidated by the Chinese.

Tenzin Chokdup's mother died from torture while being subjected to thamzing and his two older brothers died of starvation after the death of their mother. From the age of 6 or 7 Tenzin Chokdup lived alone while his father was forced to work for the Chinese. With no one to care for him, he endured severe physical pain, extreme poverty, prolonged starvation, and forced labor.

When his father died in 1985, Tenzin Chokdup decided to leave Tibet. Tenzin Chokdup's main goal in life was to become a monk, which became possible in India. He now lives at Sera Jey Monastery in Bylakuppe. His most cherished and unforgettable memory is his audience with His Holiness the Dalai Lama after arriving in India.

Interview Team:

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

Link: Watch On Youtube

Topic: Interview with Tenzin Chokdup on 7/7/2007

Length: 01:57:09

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