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Tibet Oral History Project: Interview with Gadak on 7/7/2007

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Published on Feb 9, 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: Gadak tells how Bon, the earliest religion of Tibet, originated and how Bon and Buddhism complement each other. Gadak, who belonged to a wealthy nomadic family, describes how the Chinese disturbed the nomads' harmonious coexistence with nature by extracting minerals from Tibetan land and by harvesting medicinal plants from the soil. Determined to fight against the Chinese occupation, Gadak helped form a resistance group, which received air-dropped weapons from the United States. After 22 days of intense fighting, he and his only remaining companion surrendered to the Chinese. They were imprisoned and forced to perform hard labor. Many of the prisoners died from unsanitary conditions or went insane and were shot by the guards. Gadak was eventually released and sent back to his village. Gadak witnessed the Cultural Revolution in 1965-66 in Tibet, when the Chinese destroyed Buddhist monasteries and subjected Tibetans to thamzing 'struggle sessions.' Gadak fled in 1966, but when he reached Bhutan, the Indian Intelligence agencies suspected he was a spy for China.

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