About the Interviewees
Kelly Lhungay was born in Fort Lee, New Jersey. Her parents were raised and educated in Nepal and India, and they frequently traveled back and forth from Nepal to the United States until finally moving to the U.S.  Kelly is the youngest of three siblings, and the only one who did not have a childhood in India or Nepal. She is currently an undergraduate student at Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Massachusetts.  In the summer of 2009, Kelly traveled to Dharamsala, India and attended a five-week summer program at the Tibetan Children’s Village, a boarding school for refugee children. The summer program was created for Tibetan children who were raised in Western countries to get in touch with their culture by studying Tibetan language, traditions, food, and performing arts. As an undergraduate at Mount Holyoke College, Kelly shares her culture through performances of Tibetan song and dance. She is an active member of her campus’ chapter of Students for Free Tibet. During the 2012-13 school year, Kelly is serving as a co-chair of the group. Listen to Kelly’s interview.
  Zayden Tethong was born in Washington, D.C., and lived in India as a young child.  She came back to the United States at the age of five and received her entire education in the U.S.  After graduating from high school in Palo Alto, California, Zayden went on to pursue a B.A. degree in film studies and English at Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Massachusetts. She graduated in 2012. Although she has never been to Tibet, Zayden has been active in the Tibetan independence movement from a young age and considers her activism a personal responsibility. Zayden has an open mind about her career choices and wishes to continue advocating for Tibetan issues in the future. Listen to Zayden’s interview.
    Lama Tsewang Trinley (Lama Trinley) was born in Therdun Sha, a village in the region of Kham,  in eastern Tibet. At the age of ten, Lama Trinley moved to a nearby monastery to begin his training and education. A couple of years later, he joined another monastery in Nepal. After completing studies at a college-monastery at the age of 22, Lama Trinley took a three-year, three-month mediation retreat. In 2006, he moved to Phoenix, Arizona to teach Buddhism. He is currently in his second year as a visiting Buddhist monk in residence at Hampshire College. He is  involved in the collaborative program between Hampshire and Smith Colleges that works to promote Tibetan culture and language.  He plans to stay at Hampshire for one more year. Listen to Lama Trinley’s interview.
    Thondup Tsering was born in Saka, western Tibet. His parents were nomads and yak herders. He and his family left Tibet for India in 1963, crossing the Himalayas on foot. He first came to the United States in 1989 on a Fulbright Scholarship for a Master’s degree in guidance and counseling from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. In 1996, Thondup returned to Massachusetts to pursue a Doctorate of Education from the University of Massachusetts. Since 2000, Thondup has worked as a Residence Hall Director at the university. In October 2004, he opened the Lhasa Café in Northampton, Massachusetts with his wife. They continue to own and manage the restaurant. Thondup and his wife live together in the Pioneer Valley with their two college-age children. Listen to Thondup’s interview.
    Phuntsog Wangmo was born in Lhasa, Tibet. She first began to study Tibetan medicine as a high school student and completed her studies in 1999. In the 1990s, Phuntsog worked briefly for the Shang Shung International Institute for Tibetan studies in Arcidosso, Italy. In 2000, the Shang Shung Institute of America, located in Conway, Massachusetts, invited Phuntsog to teach Tibetan culture. She accepted, initially imagining that she would live in the United States for six months, but she has remained in Massachusetts since 2000. In 2005, she opened the School for Tibetan Medicine at the Institute. Phuntsog is currently the director of the school. In the summer of 2012, the school graduated its first class of students. Listen to Phuntsog’s interview.