Interviewee Profile

Name: Norbu
(Alias: No)

Gender: Male

Interview Age: 70

Date of Birth: 1937

Birthplace: Sang, Utsang, Tibet

Year Left Tibet: 1960

Profession: Farming

Monk/Nun: No

Political Prisoner: No

Interview Details

Interview No.: 10

Date: 2007-07-02

Language: Tibetan

Location: Lugsung Samdupling Settlement, Bylakuppe, Karnataka, India

Categories: Chinese Invasion and Occupation

Keywords: brutality/torture, business practices/livelihood, childhood memories, Chinese -- first appearance of, Chinese -- oppression under, Chinese rule -- life under, Chushi Gangdrug guerrillas, environment/wildlife, escape experiences, farm life, forced labor, poor/lower class, refugee in India -- life as, thamzing/struggle sessions, Utsang


Norbu had a very adventurous childhood in Tibet, hunting and fishing for both fun and for his livelihood, as his family was poor. At age 17, he killed a bear with his knife in self defense. A prize kill would be a musk deer, which sold for a good price. Norbu gives a fascinating and suspenseful account of the villagers' hunting expeditions.

Norbu narrates how he and other Tibetans worked at Chinese road construction sites, how the Chinese appeared to be friendly at the beginning in order to gain their confidence, and how they gradually tightened their control.

Norbu recounts the horrifying events of when Sangay Dorji, one of the richest people of the village, was subjected to thamzing 'struggle sessions.' Norbu describes a confrontation with a Chinese officer, who called Norbu, "a wolf in sheep's clothing." Fearing that he and his family would be subjected to thamzing, his large family embarked on a month long escape to India.

Interview Team:

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

Link: Watch On Youtube

Topic: Interview with Norbu on 7/2/2007

Length: 01:40:22

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