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Published on Jan 26, 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: Dorji Damdul had seventeen brothers and sisters from three different mothers. His village contained the only school within five districts so Dorji Damdul had the good fortune to be sent to school. Due to poor behavior, he was removed from school and his parents sent him to join a local monastery. Dorji Damdul provides a description of monastic life and his daily routine. The Chinese labeled Dorji Damdul as a "rebel" because of his family's high status in the community. They restricted his movements and arrested his uncle, who served as head of the family. The Chinese arrested many monks and distributed the property of the monastery to the people of the village. Dorji Damdul was forced to return home, but his house had been emptied by the Chinese. After a year, he decided to marry, but the Chinese also imprisoned his wife, who came from a prominent family. Fearing his own arrest, Dorji Damdul decided to flee to Bhutan with his wife, who had been released from prison because she was pregnant. During the journey, his wife gave birth to their baby, but after reaching Bhutan the baby died in 6 days. The couple traveled to Balingpur and then to Bylakuppe, India, where they resettled.