** 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: Jamyang D. Sakya was born in a small village called Thalung in Jekundo in the Province of Kham. She fondly remembers her blissful childhood spending summertime with the nomads and wintertime at home with her family. Her uncle, a reincarnate lama, admitted her to a school run by a private teacher, where all the other students were boys. In addition to learning reading and writing, she was taught Buddhist prayers. Jamyang D. Sakya recounts that despite her family's wealth and status, her mother insisted that she learn cooking, milking, knitting and spinning wool. During her childhood, she and her mother embarked on a 3-month pilgrimage and walked from Kham to the central and western parts of Tibet to visit monasteries and holy sites. She describes the challenging journey and the kindness of people along the way who offered food to pilgrims. Jamyang D. Sakya recalls her first meeting with her husband, His Holiness Jigdal Dagchen Sakya, head of the Sakya Phuntsok Phodrang lineage. She describes the circumstances that led to their marriage when she was only 16 years old, despite his mother's disapproval. She talks about the importance of the spiritual aspect of life and her experiences as a Buddhist teacher in the United States--a role she was reluctant to accept.