Meet Jolma

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.

Jolma, Renchin Jolma, Tibetan Blogger

My Story

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.

I would also like to invite you to join me on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, and Pinterest.

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.

Warmly,
Jolma

15 Responses to Meet Jolma

  1. Kate December 24, 2014 at 2:15 AM #

    Good to hear from you! Long time since summer writing class!

    • Jolma December 24, 2014 at 1:03 PM #

      Yes, Kate. Lately, I missed sharing my stories with our group from the writing retreat. I hope all is well in your world. And thank you for dropping by.

  2. elijahalexanderjr December 24, 2014 at 8:16 AM #

    You’ve presented a glimpse into a life worth hearing about, Thank you, Jolma,

    • Jolma December 24, 2014 at 1:07 PM #

      I am glad to hear that, Elijah. Thank you for your support.

  3. peggygilbey814628432 December 26, 2014 at 1:34 PM #

    Happy Holidays Jolma! Thanks for sharing!

    • Jolma December 26, 2014 at 1:50 PM #

      Thank you, Peggy. Wishing you a happy New Year with many blessings in the year to come!

  4. L. Marijke McCandless March 21, 2015 at 1:49 AM #

    Jolma – I loved reading your description about singing and dancing the utensils in your kitchen, while remembering and story telling in your mind! It evokes such an element of celebration and appreciation for life!

    • Jolma March 21, 2015 at 5:47 AM #

      Hi L. Marijke, thank you very much for joining my celebration of Tibetan culture and rich heritage. I appreciate you taking the time to comment. Let us sing and dance life. –Jolma

  5. khabum gyal March 23, 2015 at 4:57 AM #

    Wow! I remember very well your great grand mom Ama Soname Kyi. Unfortunately I couldn’t see her again after I left. I like her lovely Picture.

    • Jolma March 23, 2015 at 5:15 AM #

      Of course, you do. You are the first reader that knew my Grandmother. She is no longer with us, and I miss her very much. This blog, “Beyond Her Kitchen”, is dedicated to her and disadvantaged Tibetan women like her. Thank you for stopping by.

  6. Keith Crawford June 10, 2015 at 1:48 PM #

    Jolma, it is a blessing to know of your culture and love and respect for your late Grandmother. Tibet is a fascinating place, as a boy I love hearing about the legends of Shangri-La and other legends. Thanks for sharing your culture and passions.

    Keith

    • Jolma June 10, 2015 at 8:41 PM #

      Thank you, Keith. Tibetan culture is ancient and artful. James Hilton may have found inner peace, love and a sense of purpose for his character, but Shangri-La is a legend of its kind and is an exotic place. I hope you continue sense the authenticity here at Beyond Her Kitchen. Smiles, Jolma

  7. msnguy81 June 24, 2015 at 11:30 AM #

    I remember meeting your grandma at the Weather Central/MyWeather holiday party. We played blackjack together 🙂

    • Jolma June 24, 2015 at 10:47 PM #

      Yes, and you did. Thank you for making her evening. The lovely photos of the party still remind me of fun, memorable event.

      My grandma accepted your invitation to join your table as if she knew how to play blackjack. I sat behind her, raising my head towards you so that I could help her with the language. But not this time. You guys trained her quickly. All she needed was her hand to tap the table once to say “yes” or wave to mean “no”, and she was winning. Fond memories indeed.

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