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Reading book

Teacher reading Tibetan story

Oral histories & children’s stories

In April 1999, a KSP volunteer, Hannah Nordhaus interviewed Folay villagers who had crossed the Himalayas to Nepal in the years after the 1951 Chinese invasion of Tibet. Nordhaus is a writer and had conducted two large oral history projects for her MA degree in history. She was assisted by Gonpo Tseten, Folay School’s headmaster,

Nordhaus and Tseten went from house to house, drinking gallons of yak-butter tea and asking the villagers about their experiences under Chinese rule, about their crossing from Tibet into Nepal, and about their lives now.

These tales ranged from the mundane to the dramatic – from a painstaking account of every yak ever owned, to heart-rending stories of parents and children left behind in Tibet, and a moving tale of a young Rimpoche, who escaped over the pass into Nepal.

Nordhaus also recorded children’s stories, including Tibetan folk tales and local mythology.

Later in the same year, these stories were translated by Bhuchung Sherap, the headmaster of Namgyal Middle School, in Kathmandu.

KSP now supplies four titles to Folay School:

The long walk from home
The story of Chukdu Rimpoche
The barking King and other stories
The tricky man.