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Tibet Oral History Project: Interview with Dhingo Pemba Gapatsang on 4/9/2015

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Published on Mar 30, 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: Dhingo Pemba Gapatsang was born in Derge Dema in Kham in 1932. His was a large family of 11 members that together managed both farming and nomadic activities. His father served as an assistant to a minister of the King of Derge. Dhingo Pemba Gapatsang describes his father's responsibilities, including the sale of lumber. His father took him and his brothers along on his tours of the district to perform various duties so they could learn how to do the job themselves. Dhingo Pemba Gapatsang explains how the system of governance functioned in Derge. As the Chinese army advanced into Kham, Dhingo Pemba Gapatsang along with his father and brothers left their village to fight against the invaders. He became separated from his family as they fled from the Chinese and never saw them alive again. He feared the Chinese because they were appointing poor villagers as leaders and influencing them to conduct the thamzing 'struggle sessions' the wealthy, the leaders, lamas and monks. Dhingo Pemba Gapatsang joined the Chushi Gangdruk Defend Tibet Volunteer Force and traveled all the way to Lhasa. He gives an exhaustive account of his 3-year resistance against the Chinese and how the Chushi Gangdruk organized His Holiness the Dalai Lama's escape from Lhasa. Dhingo Pemba Gapatsang and his horse were both hit by bullets during a Chinese attack, but he survived due to his protective amulet and he was rescued by another resistance fighter.

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