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Tibet Oral History Project: Interview with Dawa Dolma on 7/5/2007

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Published on Feb 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: Dawa Dolma and her childhood friend, Tsamchoe, now in their eighties, recount their life experiences in Tibet. In summer, their village became a trading ground for a thousand traders who exchanged salt and grain. Nomads came with their goods, tents were set up, and Dawa's village became a lively market place for two weeks each year. The local people sold their wares such as woven carpets and clothes. A tax officer would come from Lhasa to collect taxes from the traders. The lives of Dawa Dolma and Tsamchoe began to change after they both married and had to cope with the challenges of raising a family while earning a livelihood. The friends separated when Dawa Dolma left Tibet with her husband and child soon after the Chinese arrived in their village, fearing that her daughter would be taken to school in China. Tsamchoe witnessed villagers being subjected to thamzing 'struggle sessions' inflicted by the Chinese. Tsamchoe and her family soon followed Dawa Dolma into exile, taking the same route through Nepal. Today, they are still friends and neighbors living in the same refugee settlement.

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