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Tibet Oral History Project: Interview with Ngawang Choseng on 7/7/2007

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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: Ngawang Choseng was born in the village of Gerdha in Utsang province. His family was a tenant of the Lhatse Chodhe Monastery and, as a form of tax, they sent Ngawang Choseng to the monastery to become a monk when he was 7 years old. His father was Chipon, the keeper of the horses of the monastery. At the monastery Ngawang Choseng learned the Tibetan language and basic Buddhist scriptures. When he reached 13 years of age, he started studying Buddhist philosophical debates, which became the main focus of his education. At the age of 28, he went to Lhasa and enrolled in Sera Monastery. After the Chinese invasion, he witnessed the arrest and public beatings of many monks. Ngawang Choseng returned to his village after Lhasa was attacked in 1959. Ngawang Choseng made his escape to India in 1962 with three other monks. Initially, Ngawang Choseng worked on road construction and later settled in Bylakuppe where he joined 300 other monks who labored to build Sera Monastery in Bylakuppe.

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