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Tibet Oral History Project: Interview with Jiga on 5/17/2012

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Published on Mar 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: Jiga hails from a nomadic background. He remembers women in the family milked the dri 'female yaks' and made dairy products. At the age of 16-17, Jiga become a transporter, delivering goods on yaks. He describes the journey of the transporters who carried tea leaves for traders towards Lhasa. Later the yak transporters worked for the Chinese by moving their army supplies. Thousands of yaks were hired and they were paid very well with silver coins. Jiga's livelihood of transportation slowly ended due to changes in the Chinese attitude toward the Tibetans. Many people were being arrested and property confiscated. Unable to bear the Chinese oppression, his region's people fled to the mountains and tried to hide from the Chinese. They suffered from lack of food and were only able to eat meat from stolen animals or hunted wild animals. Occasionally they tried to raid the Chinese communes to get supplies. Jiga gives a detailed description of their numerous encounters with Chinese troops and the casualties they suffered that reduced the group of 112 to 38 people. Jiga traveled for months to reach the Nepalese border and then joined the Chushi Gangdrug [Defend Tibet Volunteer Force] in Mustang. They attempted several attacks on the Chinese troops and Jiga believes he survived due to the blessing of his protective amulet.

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