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Tibet Oral History Project

SPONSOR A TIBETAN ELDER'S LIFE STORY IN NEPAL

The Tibet Oral History Project is planning to travel to Nepal this spring and record the life stories of some of the most aged Tibetans still with us. We have often been encouraged to document the stories of Tibet's elders living in the Kathmandu area and the chance has finally arrived!

Learn more about this mission to Nepal and how you can help on our special campaign webpage.

This oral history endeavor is urgent. The elders who can recount what Tibet was like before fleeing to Nepal after the Chinese occupation in 1959 are now in their 70’s, 80’s and 90’s. As one Tibetan welfare officer said, “There is a sizable Tibetan population in Nepal, most of whom arrived shortly after Tibet’s occupation and now are quite elderly. There are many varied and rich stories that need to be documented before we lose these elders.

Your contribution of any amount will make this crucial work possible while there is still time to preserve their stories!




TOHP Benefit:
EXPLORING TIBET through PHOTOGRAPHS & PAINTINGS

ONE DAY ONLY! March 14 - Lafayette, Calif.

On Saturday, March 14 from 2pm to 7pm the Jennifer Perlmutter Gallery will present a special, one-day only exhibit entitled “Exploring Tibet through Photographs and Paintings.” This event will feature photographs by Martin Newman and paintings by Marcella Adamski alongside traditional Tibetan thangka paintings. All proceeds from the sale of their artwork at this event will be donated to the Tibet Oral History Project in order to sponsor the videotaping of 50 elderly Tibetan refugees’ oral histories in Nepal. Both artists will be at the gallery to share their experiences of travelling in Tibet and also conducting oral histories with exiled Tibetan elders outside of Tibet. The Jennifer Perlmutter Gallery is located at 3620 Mt. Diablo Blvd. in Lafayette. For more information about the event call (925) 284-1485 or email jp@jenniferperlmuttergallery.com .

INTERVIEW HIGHLIGHTS


"Tibet Oral History Project: Tibet
Remembered" [Length: 6min 50sec]

"With My Own Eyes: Eyewitness Accounts
from Tibet's Elders" [Length: 30min 35sec]






















226 ORAL HISTORIES IN COLLECTION

TOHP has videotaped the oral histories of 226 Tibetan elders living in exile. This oral history collection is invaluable. It provides intimate portraits of the elders - the last generation to live in a free, unoccupied Tibet - and preserves for future generations the memories of their homeland.

The oral histories of 169 Tibetan elders are posted on the Interviews pages and 45 short videos with interview excerpts are available on TOHP's YouTube Channel. The elders provide eyewitness accounts of early life in Tibet, and of the devastation that followed the Chinese invasion and occupation. They also recount memories of their flight from Tibet to escape oppression and to follow their spiritual leader, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, into exile.

"The cause of Tibet is helped by every individual story and together they paint the true history of Tibet."
- Marcella Adamski, TOHP's founder

SUPPORT FOR TOHP's WORK

TOHP RETURNS TO BYLAKUPPE, INDIA; PRESENTS COLLECTION TO HIS HOLINESS THE DALAI LAMA

TOHP's team returned to the Bylakuppe Tibetan Settlement in India in December of 2013 and conducted 25 additional interviews. The oral histories we videotaped included Venerable Professor Samdhong Rinpoche, the former Prime Minister of the Tibetan government-in-exile and several other senior monastic leaders. We also presented to His Holiness the Dalai Lama 53 interview transcripts and DVDs from our collection. His Holiness expressed warm appreciation and took one of the volumes of interviews to hold while posing for a group photo. It was a powerful visual endorsement.

 




LIBRARY OF CONGRESS RECEIVES TOHP's INTERVIEW COLLECTION

On November 13, 2012 President of TOHP's Board of Directors, Faye Straus, hand delivered the first set of TOHP's oral history collection to the largest library in the world, the U.S. Library of Congress. This milestone event for the Project enabled TOHP to permanently archive 67 interviews with Tibetan elders in the Library's Asian Division.


TOHP Founder, Marcella Adamski, met with
Dr. Lobsang Sangay, Prime Minister of the
Tibetan government-in-exile during
his visit to California in 2013.


THE DALAI LAMA AND TIBETAN OFFICIALS URGE SUPPORT FOR TOHP

The Tibet Oral History Project (TOHP) is honored to have received letters of endorsement from the Office of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the Speaker of Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile, and the Kashag (Cabinet). The Office of His Holiness the Dalai Lama wrote:

His Holiness is pleased that the Tibet Oral History Project is making good progress. Your recording the life stories of elder Tibetans has much importance in preserving the reality of the situation in Tibet as experienced by these Tibetans.
Penpa Tsering, Speaker, Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile:
The Tibet Oral History Project is a very significant undertaking to record actual historical events of Tibet from an individual's perspective at the worst period of Tibetan history. The project needs to be intensified as the older generations are fast disappearing....
Prof. Samdhong Rinpoche, Kalon Tripa (Prime Minister):
I am particularly impressed with [TOHP's] efforts of translating these interviews in Chinese language so that Chinese citizens who are deprived of correct information can understand the true stories of Tibetan people and appreciate their culture and the cause the Tibetan people are fighting for. Similarly it will also bring benefits to the younger generation of Tibetans, primarily who are born and brought up in exile. Therefore, I welcome and support this project.


TOHP Director, Marcella Adamski,
and Outreach Director, Tenzin Yangchen,
give a set of interviews to the Private Office of His
Holiness, which were received by his Secretary


Marcella Adamski presents the interview collection
to Venerable Geshe Lhakdor, Director of the
Library of Tibetan Works and Archives
in Dharamsala, India

 

 

TOHP's COLLECTION DISTRIBUTED WORLDWIDE

TOHP already has sent a copy of the first set of 67 interviews to the following communities and archives:

US Library of Congress, Office of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Library of Tibetan Works and Archives (India), Bibliothèque universitaire des langues et civilisations (Paris), Centre d'études himalayennes (Paris), Columbia University, Emory University, Harvard University, Latse Contemporary Tibetan Cultural Library, Northwest Tibetan Cultural Association, Oxford University, Rice University, Stanford University , Tibetan American Foundation of Minnesota, Tibetan Association of Northern California, Tibetan Canadian Cultural Center, Tibetan Community in Switzerland and Liechtenstein, Tibetan Settlement of Bylakuppe (India), UC Berkeley, UC Santa Barbara

Each location receives a set of video DVDs and English transcripts. Please contact us if you would like to recommend other organizations to receive our interview collection or if you can help with the cost of printing and distributing to libraries and Tibetan communities.

INTERNATIONAL SUPPORT FOR OUR WORK

The following are some of the organizations endorsing the work of TOHP. Read their statements of support on the About Us page.

Library of Tibetan Works and Archives * Bureau of His Holiness the Dalai Lama * International Campaign for Tibet * International Tibet Support Network * Tibet Justice Center * Committee of 100 for Tibet * Canada Tibet Committee Ottawa * Tibetan Nuns Project * Tibetan Dickey Larsoe Settlement * Tibetan Youth Congress Bylakuppe * The Tibetan Co-operative Society Ltd., Bylakuppe * Lugsam Samdupling Tibetan Settlement * Doeguling Tibetan Settlement * Regional Tibetan Women's Association Bylakuppe * The Tibetan Service Co-Op Bank, Ltd., Mundgod * Gyuto Vajrayana Center, San Jose