Interviewee Profile

Name: Tashi Lhamo
(Alias: Yes)

Gender: Female

Interview Age: 70

Date of Birth: 1940

Birthplace: Kham, Tibet

Year Left Tibet: 1997

Profession: Farming

Monk/Nun: No

Political Prisoner: Yes

Interview Details

Interview No.: 6M

Date: 2010-04-05

Language: Tibetan

Location: Doeguling Settlement, Mundgod, Karnataka, India

Categories: Oppression and Imprisonment

Keywords: brutality/torture, childhood memories, Chinese -- first appearance of, Chinese -- oppression under, Chinese army -- invasion by , Chinese rule -- life under, commune system, farm life, food/drink, forced labor, herding, houses/villages, Kham, refugee in India -- life as, starvation, taxes, thamzing/struggle sessions


Tashi Lhamo was the middle child among her eight siblings. Her family lived in a three-storied house which was used for various purposes, such as living quarters, storage for the grains and as an animal shed. The family's occupation was farming as well as rearing animals. Tashi Lhamo describes the process of milking, making butter and their unique storage methods.

Tashi Lhamo recalls the difficult life she led first under the Tibetan system of paying taxes to the wealthy families and then under the Chinese commune system. She witnessed the starvation that began in Tibet in 1960-61 with the implementation of the commune system--when the majority of food the villagers grew was taken away from them by the Chinese. She describes many instances of death due to starvation, imprisonment and thamzing 'struggle session.'

She spent 37 years under Chinese rule and experienced the difference in their attitude when they first appeared, giving away dhayen 'Chinese silver coins' in her village and the gradual suppression leading to capture, imprisonment, thamzing and death of the wealthy and influential people. She narrates her family's suffering under Chinese rule and her decision to finally leave Tibet in order to see His Holiness the Dalai Lama and be near her sons already living in exile.

Interview Team:

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

Link: Watch On Youtube

Topic: Interview with Tashi Lhamo (alias) on 4/5/2010

Length: 02:01:10

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