These are the five young Tibetans have been selected to come to Swansea University as part of our Tibetan Exchange Programme.
Meet Kalsang Dolma.
Here is her story.
My name is Kalsang Dorma and I am born and brought up in Gangtok Sikkim. I completed my School Education from Paljor Namgyal Girls’ Senior Secondary School Gangtok in 2007. I completed my graduation from Indira Gandhi National University and I work in Palkhang Academy which is a high school as a teacher. I chose this profession because I love being with children and teaching them. And I am also pursuing my Master’s degree in Public Administration through distance education.
My parents are also born here in Sikkim. Both my paternal and maternal grandparents had came to Sikkim from Tibet in the 1960s. Though I haven’t got much opportunity to hear stories of tibet from my grandparents as a kid because they expired when I was a little girl. I live in a small family of four. My father, mother, me and my younger sister who is in her college years.
I love the field of teaching so I would love to continue in the same and also do higher studies. And I hope to be able to open a school some day which not only delivers quality education to children but also emphasise on educating Tibetan language so that young children can stay rooted to their language and culture which is quite rare here in Sikkim. Teaching good morals and ethics to become a good human being above all and mold them to become a productive person in the society is the most important part I believe. Well this is how I would like to contribute and give back to the society.
Meet Tenzing Rabga
Here is his story.
My name is Tenzing Rabga born and raised in Gangtok, Sikkim. I am a MBA graduate specialized in Finance and Marketing from Bangalore University. I belong to a simple middle class Tibetan family living in gangtok Sikkim. My fathers name is Karma Tshering and mothers name is Tsewang Dolma. My father runs a restaurant and I lost my mother at a very young age of 10. Since then my father has worked hard to give me every possible sort of education that I desire for. In Tibet we come from a family of farmers a small village in Gyangtse called Nyamo. My parents have been kind to tell me about my country’s history, culture, tradition and language and I could understand and relate it to the stories told by my parents through the recent youth empowerment workshop held in Gangtok organized by CTA and TibetXchange programme.
Tibet also called as ” the Roof of the World ” is because of its unique ecosystem, with an area of 2.5 million square kilometers and standing tall at an average altitude of 14000ft above sea level. Tibetan plateau supplies 47% of world’s population with water. Tibet is rich in its culture and tradition, Its culture is inseparably linked to Tibetan Buddhism. Over the past 1000 years Tibet has developed a unique, spiritual and peaceful culture with Buddhism at its heart.
Since its invasion by the Communist China in 1959, Tibetans in Tibet are denied basic Human Rights, Tibetan Flag and National Anthem are banned, Possession of picture of His Holiness the Dalai Lama can result in torture and Imprisonment, there is no right to protest against communist Chinese, There is no right to learn Tibetan Language and even no rights to practice Religion. Chinese government aims to suppress the Tibetan issue by changing the very character and identity of Tibet and its people. Today, Tibetans in Tibet are outnumbered by Chinese in their own Homeland. Despite over 60 years of Chinese occupation of Tibet, The Tibetan people refuse to be conquered and subjugated by China.
As a young Tibetan I will create awareness about the Tibetan Issue around the world, tell the world about how my Tibetan brothers and sisters living in Tibet are being tortured and killed. How Tibetans are living in Tibet where practice of basic human rights is seen as a crime. I want to share the real story of Tibet to the world of which they have heard a different story from the communist China.
Meet Tseyang Palzom.
Here is her story.
I was born on February 28th, 1990 in the small town of Gangtok, Sikkim. My amla (mother) decided to deliver me at home because it was her first time and she was scared on hearing tales of hospital deliveries. She instead put her faith on the healing properties of a piece of preserved fish from the holy lakes of Manasarovar in Tibet. That, combined with the exceptional support and midwifery skills of my maternal grandmother and aunts led to the birth of a healthy baby in the wee hours of the morning. As a child, my upbringing was traditionally Tibetan in the sense that I grew up eating tsampa, singing fragments of Tibetan songs and listening to tales of Tibet from my momola (grandmother). However, outside of our small family that comprised my parents, little sister and momola, the world was different. The languages primarily used were Nepali or English and a lot of Hindi in the Bollywood movies. Reading about joint families in social studies text books and watching the daily soaps on television about extended Hindu joint families often made me yearn for a huge family too. Sometimes, I would even wonder why we did not look like any of the people they were showing on television or in the movies.
As I grew up, I came to learn in greater clarity about Tibet. From the Tibet in my momola’s tales where it was almost like a fairyland, it progressed to the harsh reality that the Tibet I grew up loving (without ever having seen it) was very far from reach for my little hands. I heard the word “refugee” for the first time when I was in Class I. We had to write an essay about ourselves and I began with the lines “I am a Tibetan girl”. When I showed it to amla, she suggested I add the word refugee after Tibetan and explained to me about our exiled status. Learning this new word- refugee- made me feel a little more grown up suddenly.
With my love for animals, I wanted to become a vet initially but I detested the idea of dissections and became drawn towards the world of words. I was confused for the longest time between literature and psychology and finally decided to pursue psychology. I chose psychology over literature because I felt that I can always write my heart out but I would never get a chance to help people as a trained psychologist if I don’t take it up in a professional capacity. Apart from a general need to help people, my passion for psychology mainly springs from my close encounter with mental illness. On a personal level, I experienced how mental illness takes away the people you love in the most painful way possible and I wanted to be able to help similar people.
At present, it has been seven years as a student of Psychology and it has been an enriching experience for me. As a postgraduate in Psychology, I still feel very new to the discipline and there is so much more that I still wish to learn. Currently, I am working as a psychologist at a rehab in Nimtar which is about 40 minutes away from Gangtok. At the rehabilitation centre, my primary concern is the women who have been admitted for alcohol dependence and poly substance abuse. I work with them in groups and as individuals and focus on providing diagnostic clarity, supportive therapy, psycho education and denial management. It is an enriching experience for me and I am learning a little more every day.
I feel that each person is unique and not everyone needs to become an activist or a politician to bring about change. In our own capacity, if we strive to do better and become better human beings with a positive outlook we can all achieve changes. Even if it may seem tiny or inconsequential, if we are all doing our bit to make the world a more peaceful place, it is a life well-lead.
Meet Yeshey Paden.
Here is her story.
Beginning talking about myself in a casual way to highly eminent people is tough (facts are lot easier he-he). Well, I am a happy go lucky kind of person, a Gangtokian by birth and a Tibetan by belief.
Born and brought up entirely in Gangtok, I always considered myself a Cocktail in every aspect. At home we spoke only Dromo (a dialect of Tibet similar to Sikkimese Bhutia language since Dromo was the junction between Sikkim and the mainland Tibet earlier and so our regional language had a bit of Sikkim’s influence)
At school, it was primarily English, English and strictly English ( to the extent that we were fined certain amount of money if we were caught using another language, our Principal sir had those junior spy kids meant for catching those local language speakers and till date I have this curiosity to know those betrayers …ha-ha)
Locally it was spoken, broken Nepali which we had mastered.
So this cocktail grew up, got herself a decent education of Bachelors of Science in Nursing and luckily got posted to work in a Hospital under contractual basis. Family was really big but to shorten it the immediate family would be 2 elder sisters and 2 really simple and hardworking parents. My parents wanted us to get the best of education and despite all the financial constraints of those days, they worked hard and sent us to a decent Public school. And it must be normal but I love my parents for their simplicity and honesty and I cherish the fact that I got them as parents.
About Tibet. We grew up in the Tibet of memories, my grandparents’ memories, and my father and his siblings little memories of the Tibet that was before they had to flee to India. It was a different Tibet and it’s sad to compare it to what we hear at present. Having never seen Tibet our knowledge of Tibet comes entirely from the books and news that is published.
The Biography of His Holiness and other books written of stories of people who managed to escape from Tibet brings us closer to the sad and heart tearing ground realities.
At work, I am a Nurse working in a Hospital here recently transferred to the Oncology unit of the same Hospital. But I like more of Psychiatry thing. I like listening to people and their problems, maybe try and understand the whys of their problem and if a solution can be met out then yes, it would be great, but if not, then just lending a ear makes people deflate their problems relieves their mental pain.
I haven’t been able to figure out as to what I want out of life yet (and I have been thinking for a really long time he-he) but one thing for sure I want in life is that, towards the end of it I don’t want to have any regrets. I want to look back on my life and be proud of my existence. Serving my country would be my pride and would make me feel like a useful citizen of my sad nation. In my own possible meager way I want to contribute to the movement of a Free Tibet.
I maybe officially an Indian but my heart is a Tibetan.
Meet Phuntsok Nyima.
Here is his story.
Myself Phuntsok Nyima, from a beautiful place Ravangla in Sikkim, completed school from CST Ravangla, Kalimpong and Darjeeling. About my family… I have grandfather who escape from Tibet at young age, fought against Chinese troops and I love listening his days in Tibet which once enjoy as a free nation, then Amla (mother), Pala (father), four sibling (1 sis, 3 bro). I am youngest with my twin bro.
In fact I want to do something that my family can be proud of, they have lots of expectation on me which sometimes afraid me, I have set my mind to work under CTA (Central Tibetan Administration) and preparing for it, then about my Tibet I know nothing of it until I reached 10th class that I am here as a refugee and our country is under occupation of people republic of china, gradually I start learning of Tibet and its situation inside Tibet from parents, school, friends and nearby.
After completion of school, I was able to go to college and joined Andhra Loyola college Vijayawada (south India) in the year 2009-12. I completed my under graduation in commerce. I am currently pursuing masters in commerce at MS University Baroda (West India). During my days in college I am at the peak of involving in various activities with regards to Tibetan issues and I also love playing football and played in different tournament, I am big fan of Manchester city football club.
My times in college:-
2010-11. I was elected President of Regional Tibetan youth congress Vijayawada and Tibetan student’s association of Vijayawada during the tenure of 1 year.
2011-2012- Appointed chief coordinator for the all India Tibetan college student’s conference which held in Bangalore.
2013-2014-I was elected President of Regional Tibetan youth congress Baroda and Tibetan Student’s Association of Baroda.
2014- Currently chief organizer of Tibetan college student’s conference in Baroda (Gujarat).
I sincerely appreciate your team for working hard on us which encourage us to strengthen our stand and I have no words to appreciate you all.
Long live DALAI LAMA and FREE TIBET