The good part of America is that freedom.: Becoming Minnesotan

Thupten Dadak.
  • Name - Thupten Dadak
  • Age at interview - 52
  • Gender - Male
  • Generation - First Generation American / Immigrant
  • Date of Interview - 07.26.2005
  • Dried dung used to make fire for cooking, Tibet, 2003.
    Tents made of yak hair, Jangtang region, Tibet, 2003.

    Culture Clash, Freedom, Tibetan

    Essential Question

    Coming to America: What did coming to America symbolize for this person?

    Push & Pull Factors: Why did this person come to the U.S.?

    Words to look for


    Background Information

    Before the Chinese invasion, Tibet had been fairly isolated from the world.  People lived a simple life based on their Buddhist faith and principles.  They valued education and respect for other people and the land.  Tibetans miss the simplicity of life before the Chinese arrived, but they also now appreciate the freedom that they have when they escaped from Chinese control.

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

    • Chapter 1

    Download Thupten Dadak 2
    1:6 Minutes | 1.06Mb


    Narrator: Thupten Dadak (TD)

    TD:  Also, I have appreciation of lives in Tibet before Chinese took over. That Tibetan lives are very much simple and more, much so there doesn’t need be – require so much depending on others. They have their own land and animals. Here now in Minnesota when I get out my door, I have to depend on, first, car and then gas, then insurance, all of this. So a lot of headache. But at the same time, I mean the good part of America is that freedom, which is inner freedom I’d call it, which has freedom express our religion, freedom of speech. I think that’s a great value. Even though it’s busy and I miss part of Tibet or part of living in India still, I keep the value and I try to be happy.

    Related Glossary Terms


    Noun:  1. A just valuation or estimate of merit, worth, weight, etc.; recognition of excellence.  2. Accurate perception; true estimation.


    Verb:  To convey or communicate; to make known or explicit.  (expresses, expressing, expressed)


    Noun:  A product designed to protect the financial well-being of an idividual or entity in case of an unexpected loss.  Common types are health, car, home and life insurance.


    Verb:  To need; to call for as necessary.  (requires, requiring, required)


    Noun:  The quality that makes something desirable or valuable; the degree of importance one gives to something. 

    Verb:  To regard highly; think much of; place importance upon.  (values, valuing, valued)


    Minnesota Historical Society. Becoming Minnesotan: Stories of Recent Immigrants and Refugees. September 2010. Institute of Museum and Library Services. [Date of access].
    nid: 18