Law is one field which can come in very helpful to the Tibetan community.: Becoming Minnesotan

Tashi Lhewa, c.2005.
  • Name - Tashi Lhewa
  • Age at interview - 24
  • Gender - Male
  • Generation - First Generation American / Immigrant
  • Date of Interview - 08.28.2005
  • Minnesota Tibetan community leaders with Minnesota House Speaker Steve Sviggum.
    Tibetan American Foundation of Minnesota board with Lodi Gyari.

    Essential Question

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

    Opportunities in America: What kind of opportunities does this person see in America that he/she did not have in the homeland?

    Words to look for


    Background Information

    Tibetan immigrants believe strongly that they must take advantage of the educational opportunities in the U.S. and so many of them pursue an undergraduate college degree and sometimes even beyond to graduate school, medical school, or law school. 

    Since the Chinese occupied Tibet over 50 years ago, the Tibetan people scattered all over the world have continued to work for more freedom and independence for the Tibetan people.  Sometimes they even base their career choice on what would most contribute to the Tibetan struggle for freedom.

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

    • Chapter 1

    Download Tashi Lhewa 6
    1:17 Minutes | 1.24Mb


    Narrator: Tashi Lhewa (TL)

    TL:  I know that there are other Tibetans who are pursuing law school.  One thing that kind of detracts them from it is just – it requires a mastery of the English language which only comes to a lot of people from being born here from an early age.  And because just the language, the legal language, is very difficult sometimes to understand.  So I didn’t face that difficulty but I know that there are Tibetan students here interested and I’ve spoken to a couple of them and I’ve always encouraged them to pursue it.
    I mean law is one field which can come in very helpful to the Tibetan community as a whole as far as understanding international law, the notions of self-determination.  It’s one avenue that hasn’t been explored fully which can lend to helping the Tibetans back in the home country a lot.
    For me I had difficulty in my later years here in the U.S. learning how to network.  Networking is a skill where – just like the differences in culture made it hard to communicate with some people as well.  With the way people understand things and the way people – mannerisms that people have here which was something that I had a hard time trying to pick up and learn.

    Related Glossary Terms


    Verb:  To express or convey ideas, either through verbal or nonverbal methods.  (communicates, communicating, communicated)


    Noun:  A group of people who share a common understanding of the same language, manners, tradition and law.


    Noun:  The arts, customs, and habits that characterize a particular society or nation.


    Verb:  To take away; to withdraw or remove.  (detracts, detracting, detracted)


    Noun:  A course of study or an area of knowledge or practice.


    Adjective:  1. Relating to the law or to lawyers.  2. Allowed by law.


    Noun:  A group of verbal, physical, or other unconscious habitual behaviors specific to an individual or group of people.


    Noun:  A high degree of proficiency or ability in a skill.


    Verb:  To interact socially for the purpose of getting connections or personal advancement.  (networks, networking, networked)

    Noun:  An interconnected group or system.


    Noun:  An idea or conception; an opinion.


    Verb:  To aim for or go after; to particpate in.  (pursues, pursuing, pursued)


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


    Noun:  The ability or right to make your own decisions without interference from others.


    Minnesota Historical Society. Becoming Minnesotan: Stories of Recent Immigrants and Refugees. September 2010. Institute of Museum and Library Services. [Date of access].
    nid: 135