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Published on Mar 16, 2018
The interpreter's English translation provided during this interview is potentially incomplete and/or inaccurate. If you are not fluent in Tibetan, please refer to the interview transcript for the complete and correct English translation. Read the interview transcript in English at http://tibetoralhistory.org/Interview...
** This interview about life in Tibet was conducted by the Tibet Oral History Project. This non-profit organization aims to preserve the history and culture of the Tibetan people by interviewing elderly Tibetan refugees about life in Tibet before and after the Chinese invasion. Learn more at http://www.TibetOralHistory.org.
** Interview Summary: Dolma is from Chushul in Utsang Province. She is the youngest in the family of farmers. Her parents cultivated barley, peas and wheat, and the family was self-sufficient. She explains how farming and irrigation were carried out in her village. Around the age of 10 Dolma was adopted by a relative and moved to Lhasa to live with her new family. In Lhasa she learned new skills like knitting sweaters, making boots and hair tassels. Dolma describes preparing the raw materials for the beautiful tassels which were made of parachute cords and explains how she sold her hand-crafted products to local shops and traders. She then describes how life in Lhasa changed drastically with the appearance of the Chinese. Dolma describes how poor Tibetans were forced to conduct thamzing 'struggle sessions' upon their employers and monks and nuns were forced by the Chinese to relinquish their celibacy. She narrates in detail the events at Norbulingka where the people of Lhasa assembled to protect His Holiness the Dalai Lama in 1959. She witnessed the shelling of the Norbulingka by the Chinese, which lasted for two nights and saw many dead and injured Tibetans just outside her window. The Tibetan Women's Association organized an incense offering for the safe journey of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to India, but then all the leaders were also subjected to thamzing.