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Tibet Oral History Project: Interview with Kanying Lobsang Deckyi on 5/14/2012

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Published on Mar 10, 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: Kanying Lobsang Deckyi was born into a very affluent aristocrat family in Thoe Tsaprang of Ngari district. Until the age of 13, she led an extremely luxurious life because her family had many servants and five palatial buildings. She fondly recalls the grand celebrations of the Tibetan New Year with a variety of music, food and chang 'home-brewed beer.' Kanying Lobsang Deckyi describes the responsibilities of her father, the District Administrator of the region, which entailed collecting taxes on behalf of the government. She was able to visit the Panchen Lama several times with her father and remembers the advice he offered. She believes that the administrators governed compassionately including offering of loans and exempting major debts. She describes how when the Chinese first appeared they tried to entice the aristocrats by holding elaborate dances and giving them dhayen 'Chinese silver coins.' Accused of supporting the rebellion in Lhasa, Kanying Lobsang father was tortured and imprisoned for 18 years while Lobsang Deckyi was banished to a desolate place called Gyisha. She struggled to survive by farming, but most of the crops that grew were taken by the Chinese. Her son and husband both died from starvation. She was publicly beaten many times, resulting in many scars and blindness in one eye. She finally escaped into exile in 1982 with four children.

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