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Published on Mar 23, 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: Dhonyoe was born in Lhoka in 1940. His father was a shepherd, owning a large flock and Dhonyoe helped him herd sheep on the mountains. He explains the duties of a taxpayer and the system of the wulak, which is tax in the form of performing labor. Under that system all the villagers performed work on the estate of the village leaders and helped with communal projects. Dhonyoe shares his experience as a Chinese road builder, for which he dug earth and rocks, cut wood and constructed bridges. He describes the process of forcefully recruiting men of various villages and monks from the monasteries to work as road crew. He fled from the work site and returned to his family home. There he learned that the family's huge supply of grain had been taken by the poor villagers under the orders of the occupying Chinese forces. Dhonyoe recounts how the Chinese drove the poor people to destroy monasteries and holy images, throw out scriptures and taunted the believers of the Buddhist dharma. Dhonyoe was a witness to several thamzing 'struggle sessions' conducted on the influential people of his village. These leaders were often taken away after thamzing to die of starvation in prisons. After a friend's father was subjected to thamzing, a group of Dhonyoe's friends invited him to flee to India with them. Dhonyoe visited relatives in Tibet in 1989 and was told about the Cultural Revolution and how many people had starved to death during that time.