I was born and raised on the Tibetan plateau. And I sing and dance with the utensils in my kitchen while remembering and storytelling in my mind. Consulting in the realm of user experience (UX/UI) design now based in Portland, OR, U.S., I’m blessed with the positive responses to my design contributions and winning several awards.
Growing up in the valley of Rebgong (རེབ་གོང AKA Rebkong), a cultural hub, I learned the art of making comfort food and the essence of what it takes to make juicy yak meat dumplings that will splash in your mouth while the delicate wrapper stays perfectly intact. And no one trained me better in cooking than my beloved late grandmother, Sonam.
My love of cooking fresh meals daily, storytelling, and gardening has continued to this day. And my friends here in the West are continually fascinated with my rich heritage, the stories I share, and the dishes I cook.
My grandmother was illiterate, a nomad at birth, but she understood the meaning of education, and of taking the road less traveled.
Grandmother once said this to me, “To discover the world, one must move beyond her own kitchen.” This conviction led to my own personal journey from Asia to Europe and to America, where I learned a brand new language, new culture, and built a successful career in an English-speaking society.
And what’s more, if my open-minded parents had not shielded me from arranged marriage, I would have wedded at age 15, instead of becoming the first ever girl from my village to attend college. I taught at a Tibetan middle school and worked for the government before leaving for England to study English.
Grandma’s vision and its reflections on us the grandchildren – the world beyond our kitchen – also inspired my blog name “Beyond Her Kitchen”.
Why Beyond Her Kitchen
Celebrating Tibetan culture through stories, food and pictures.
My grandmother, who belonged to a severely disadvantaged group of people, passed away in 2012 at the age of 89. To honor her and Tibetan women like her, I want to share our culture through her inspirational life, her cooking rituals, and my decades memories from the pure, ancient land.
I hope sharing my stories will eventually help encourage a Tibetan mother to send her daughter to school, or inspire a girl to move beyond her own kitchen and become a global citizen.
So, come and explore with me on my journey to celebrating Tibetan traditions and travel you to the plateau with my tales, food flavors and pictures of cultural expressions.
Thank you for tuning in, and may you find your journey with me to the Tibetan highlands interesting enough to stay along for the ride.