Interviewee Profile

Name: Penpa
(Alias: No)

Gender: Male

Interview Age: 73

Date of Birth: 1937

Birthplace: Dayab, Utsang, Tibet

Year Left Tibet: 1959

Profession: Dairy Farming, Farming

Monk/Nun: No

Political Prisoner: No

Interview Details

Interview No.: 4M

Date: 2010-04-06

Language: Tibetan

Location: Doeguling Settlement, Mundgod, Karnataka, India

Categories: Culture and History

Keywords: childhood memories, Chinese army -- invasion by , Chinese rule -- life under, Chushi Gangdrug guerrillas, escape experiences, forced labor, herding, pilgrimage, taxes, thamzing/struggle sessions, Utsang


Penpa was originally from Dayab in the Kham region. His mother passed away when he was just 6 or 7 months old and his father moved to Kongpo in Utsang. There he was brought up by another family for whom his father worked after his father was sent to join the army as a form of taxation. He explains the three different types of taxes and payments required.

Penpa herded the family's animals when he was young and performed other chores as he got older. He gives a very detailed account about grazing the animals and protecting them from predators. He describes the various kinds of dogs and the grazing laws in effect before the crops are harvested.

Penpa recalls the news about the fall of Chamdo and the appearance of the Chinese in his region. He narrates the circumstances that led to him working on the road construction begun by the Chinese. He was paid with Chinese silver coins and Penpa also explains the different denominations of Tibetan currencies. Later Penpa went on pilgrimage to Lhasa and was privileged to see His Holiness the Dalai Lama during the Monlam festival. He also talks about the role played by the guerrillas of the Chushi Gangdrug Defend Tibet Volunteer Force in combating the Chinese army with poor quality weapons.

Interview Team:

  • Marcella Adamski (Interviewer)
  • Tenzin Yangchen (Interpreter)
  • Pema Tashi (Videographer)
Interview Video

Link: Watch On Youtube

Topic: Interview with Penpa on 4/6/2010

Length: 02:00:16

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