"Going Home" By Dolkar Tso

Screenshot of Dolkar Tso’s 5th Blog

High Peaks Pure Earth has translated a blogpost by Dolkar Tso which was posted on her blog on July 21, 2010. Dolkar Tso is the wife of businessman, environmentalist and philanthropist Karma Samdrup, sentenced to 15 years in prison on June 24, 2010 in Xinjiang on charges of alleged “grave-robbing”.

Dolkar Tso started blogging in June 2010 during her husband’s trial, providing a personal insight into the case. Her blogs, hosted on Chinese site Sohu.com, have been repeatedly closed down and she is currently on her 5th blog.

Whilst the case of Karma Samdrup and his imprisoned brothers Rinchen Samdrup and Chime Namgyal fades out of the news, Dolkar Tso’s blogpost is a portrait of a distressed woman trying to imagine how best to carry on for the sake of the family. The blogpost starts with the summer, usually the time of the year when the family would leave the city of Xining and go home to the grasslands. The English translation reflects the original Chinese language nostalgic internal monologue style and confused grammar.

Follow this link to see all posts by Dolkar Tso that High Peaks Pure Earth has translated to date.

Dolkar Tso and Karma Samdrup’s daughters

“Going Home” by Dolkar Tso
July 21, 2010

My favourite part of the year is going home, the children getting excited before their exams and starting to think about seeing their grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, the fresh air, green grass and blue sky… My children, the beautiful scenery of home may still be as tranquil as it was before but something in the air has changed, your mother really doesn’t want you to be aware of these changes or to see them.

Summer was such a wonderful time, my husband would often come back with us to the grasslands of Yushu, we would breathe in the scent of various herbs, see black pearl-like yaks and white cloud-like sheep. When the tents were up, we would see the neighbours in far off tents, we would smile at each other, looking up to the skies, red faced under the sun with white teeth. Children who are born and grew up on the grasslands are kind-hearted and sincere. My husband loved to take photos of us, that was our best and happiest time.

Kids are still playing and noisily running around the public square in Xining, among these kids, one experienced the major earthquake in April, witnessed destruction and death, lost his mother; two of them haven’t see their father for half a year and perhaps have to wait fourteen and a half more years. The boy who lost his mother still doesn’t know what death means; my two girls whose father suffered injustice still don’t know what separation means. The younger daughter once wrote in her essay “Secret” that she wants to marry the same kind of man as her kind, big and tall father when she grows up. If this is true that the fifteen years have to be used to prove my husband’s innocence, a seemingly endless amount of time is needed to show that this was a miscarriage of justice, would my daughters still remember what their father looks like? The time of their youth will be spent without a father, at the time when they begin to think about getting married, will the shadow of their father not appear in their partners?

This kind of thing really makes me feel pain. But what else can I think about? With parents on the one hand, I have to force myself to pretend I am strong enough to take the pain. With the children on the other hand, I can only pretend that nothing has happened. But no one can control my thoughts, not even myself. My husband’s figure, which has become so slight, always appears in front of my eyes, I hear him describing his experiences of torture, this time the world was able to admire his courage and steadfastness but I can not get rid of the overlapping images in my mind of the tall and thin physique of my husband. It was like films and documentaries I had seen, images of Nazi concentration camps actually appeared in my mind.

Never did I dream that these misfortunes would happen. In a sound legal system, I never thought my husband would face these grievances. If he is not bogged down by this misfortune, he will still pursue the protection of culture and the environment and continue to study wall paintings, stone carvings, ancient philosophy, and the connection between ancient life philosophy and current environmental disasters, he will miss his two lovely daughters and simple and honest chats with his friends; the happiness of today also carries with it the feelings of yesterday, my quiet life to his surprise has been hijacked by “aliens”[1].

How is he now? Is he starving? Is he being beaten again? Is he subject to abuse? Nobody dares to think of these things. The parents are of benign countenance, family members are neither obsequious nor arrogant. They are on my side by comforting me that there are no difficulties that cannot be overcome and no time that would stand still as long as we adhere to our original minds and do not lose ourselves. My friends say the most valuable thing is: he is still himself, your husband will not be changed.

Good and evil stand together, the contrast between black and white is so obvious. The world is always a mixed blessing, no one knows what tomorrow will look like, the evil of all will collapse, sooner or later; insist on the good but encountering difficulties is Buddhist practice in itself.

[1] This is a reference to a “funny” message left by Sohu.com when a blog is deleted that the blog has been “abducted by aliens”.


  1. Tenpa Gapshi

    beautifully written from the heart. I pray for you, your children and your husband who is detained and tortured for crimes he didn't commit or the crime of being a Tibetan. This is really showcase that this justice system under the communist thugs is just a veneer and if you dig deeper, you will realize the true color of their 'justice'. Tibetans should take heed of this and act accordingly. For them, we are Tibetans and no matter how much we try to play by their rules, they will always find a way to bring you down being a Tibetan.

  2. One would think the Chinese people and the government would have better understanding about pains and sufferings after what,they, themselves had gone through under the Japanese occupation of Nanking in the nineteen-thirties.The Chinese Government's lack of understanding of humane side of their feelings toward the Tibetans is a clear sign, that, they cared less about what their own Chinese brothers and sisters in Nanking had gone through and,suffered under the Japanese occupation, which is why their disabilities in expressing their compassion,and emotional feelings toward the Tibetans.The sense of Compassion and kindness is dead in the Chinese leaders-all for their greed for power and control at the cost of their morality.There is no moral in any thing China's Government does in today's world.But that's not going to shake off the morale in the Tibetans one bit.The world has seen this already.
    My personal message to Tso and her two brave little daughters,is, that,you are not alone in this struggle.The whole Tibetan world is with you.We want you to know that always.Tibetans in exile are not in exile to forget Tibet,rather we are in exile to keep the Tibet struggle alive,robust, and thriving till the day we get what was once rightfully ours-back, to keep.
    To Tso:your husband and your daughters' father is a hero whose name will find a place in the future history of Tibet.Be proud of it.Do not stop fighting.We have to win this.Keep your morale high.Do not give up.We are with you.
    If,to-day,Karma Samdrup is behind the bars in a Chinese prison cell,that's because he is a Tibetan,for he has done nothing wrong.He is absolutely an innocent man.He only did what is being done by all intelligent-people in the right mind do.His only crime is being a Tibetan.He is just a victim of having born a Tibetan. That's all!!!
    This is the reason why Tibet must become an independent nation like it once was.Now we have the tools required to make our Tibetan Government work par with the rest of the decent,democratic nations around the world.We do not need a step mother-China as care taker of Tibet.WE never needed her before.We do not need her now,and ever!
    Dirty,grimy Tibetans would like to see clean,yellow Chinese return to China!
    With love.
    From exile!

  3. Last time i wrote something on your blog but i could post that..due to some technical problem. Since the very day i heard the mishap of whole brothers n continuation of cousins been arrested. I can understand ur torment n i had been praying for them not to lose their spirits. I couldn't bear to think what kind of torment they are going through,u r one of most brave n strong women. I salute u for that, n i really hope n wish that very soon everything to be back to normal…fine n happy unity day for whole family. My prayers r always with u…good luck…n lets try let not world to forget innocent is tortured n abused by Insane people.
    With love n best wishes to whole family…

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