People don’t have the time here.: Becoming Minnesotan

Tenzin Ngawang, c.2005.
  • Name - Tenzin Ngawang
  • Age at interview - 28
  • Gender - Male
  • Generation - First Generation American / Immigrant
  • Ritzekura family get together, Minneapolis, 2006.
    Tibetan women celebrate Thanksgiving, Fridley, Minnesota, November 25, 2004.

    Culture Clash, Tibetan, Time

    Essential Question

    Becoming Americans: What does it mean to be an American?

    Problems in America: What could have helped this person’s adjustment in the U.S.?

    Background Information

    Many Tibetans have lived for over 50 years in refugee camps or Tibetan communities in India or Nepal.  Even though they live outside of Tibet, they are surrounded by hundreds and sometimes thousands of other Tibetans.  In Minnesota, Tibetans are often scattered far from one another because of jobs and find it difficult to see other Tibetan friends.

    To learn more about Tibetan history and culture, visit our Tibetan Community page.

    • Chapter 1

    Download Tenzin Ngawang 1
    0:42 Minutes | 0.67Mb


    Narrator: Tenzin Ngawang (TN)

    TN:  People don’t have the time here. At all. But yes, but what Tibetans are struggling here is they are struggling, trying to gather, all trying together. You know, trying to find the time, you know, and make lots of parties so that everything is so such around here. Like in India, all the time you just wake up, you just go out and that’s all the time. People there. Everything is like very free there. But here when everyone has to work a lot, and it’s very hard to find together to see someone. So seeing here is like seeing a person after a month or after two months.


    Minnesota Historical Society. Becoming Minnesotan: Stories of Recent Immigrants and Refugees. September 2010. Institute of Museum and Library Services. [Date of access].
    nid: 142