Stories in English
I met Dondup in India while I was teaching English. We fell in love in few weeks and got married within several months. After a year, we had a beautiful daughter together.
After waiting for two years, I was able to bring Dondup to Canada. In few months everything was going really well and we were so happy.
I was working all the time to pay the bills and our daughter was in daycare. Dondup was going to school, but after a while he got bored and became very grumpy and unhappy.
Some times Dondup didn’t come home for weeks and when he did, he would bring many of his friends with him.
One thing that always started a fight between me and Dondup was that he never tried to teach our daughter Tibetan. I really wanted her to speak Tibetan.
The strange thing was that Dondup always complained when we saw other Tibetan couples with kids who didn’t speak the language. Sometimes he even gave them long lectures.
After a year, Dondup got all of his immigrant papers and left us for another woman. I was sad, but at the same time, I was relieved.
After Dondup left, I took my daughter to the Tibetan Buddhist temples and community gatherings to make her familiar with her father’s culture.
Some people in the Tibetan community told me the best way to make sure that my daughter would learn Tibetan would be to take her to India. So I did, when my daughter six years old.
When we got to Dharamsala, I was able to put my daughter in the TCV ‘s summer camp. That was hard because the Tibetan kids were ill mannered. They called my daughter names and treated her very differently.
The culture there is old fashioned and the children grow up in a rough environment. Parents use shame, intimidation and physical punishment. So after three weeks I took my daughter out.
Instead, I hired a Tibetan tutor to give lessons to my daughter, and to me. It didn’t take long before my daughter could speak Tibetan fluently.
When we left Dharamsala, I brought so many Tibetan learning materials with us, such as books and DVDs. Now my daughter loves to read and write in Tibetan. That really makes me happy and proud.
Many Tibetan parents in Toronto don’t try to teach their children Tibetan, and many of them don’t read and write in Tibetan themselves. When they see my daughter’s Tibetan language skills they seem surprised.
We are considering going back to India again. I am going to hire a tutor again and have him or her teach us Tibetan together.
Topic: Stories in English
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