A Tibetan Nomad Girl’s Changing Worlds

I was born in Kunub Village, Lhasgan Township, Kangding County, Karze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan
Province, China, in 1987. Most of Lhasgan Township is pasture where yaks and horses are herded. Mother was also
born in Kunub and married Father – Padyang – a local farmer. She has three siblings – Dorji Dondup, Tsering Lhamo,
and Yangdrol. I have three younger brothers – Lhodrul, Cheme, and Dorchu. When I was a few months old, we moved to Walang Village, fifty kilometers away.
Walang was my maternal Grandfather’s home place. People there were nice and helpful. Mother, like other local
women, was a nomad with little formal education. She spent much of her life in pastoral areas herding yaks and raising children. That was the common life for every nomad woman. Consequently, I spent my life with calves and yaks until I was seven. Later, both my family and my aunt’s family moved to
Lhasgan Township town, where I started school. Most local herders speak Amdo Tibetan, but in Lhasgan
Township town people speak the Kham dialect. I spoke Amdo at home and Kham in school where most of my classmates were armers. Lhasgan Township is a very beautiful place with many forested mountains. Lhasgan Monastery is located in the township and many Tibetans often go there to make offerings
and circumambulate the monastery.

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