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Dalai Lama, My Son: A Mother's Story

3.81  ·  Rating Details ·  265 Ratings  ·  37 Reviews
The "Grandmoth of Tibet" tells the amazing story of her life as the mother of His holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama
In this fascinating memoir, Diki Tsering recounts with vivid and intimate details the remarkable events in her life--from her humble beginnings and the customs and rituals of old Tibet to the births of her sixteen children (only seven of whom survived). She touch
ebook, 208 pages
Published May 1st 2001 by Penguin Books (first published May 1st 2000)
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Jul 06, 2013 Mona rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: tibet, buddhism
The Dalai Lama's mother's autobiography is a treasure. What an eye-opener about her life which was incredibly difficult because that's the way it was (is) for women in Tibet. She explained how she was treated, yet wasn't complaining. How fortunate for the world that her daughter started recording her mother's oral history which was finished by the Dalai Lama's nephew after his mother's unfortunate early death. If you admire the Dalai Lama you will enjoy this look into his heritage from his mothe ...more
The memoirs of the ordinary Tibetan housewife who became the Dalai Lama's mom. Diki Tsering was illiterate, but her niece tape-recorded interviews with her before her death in 1980 and those interviews became this book. I most enjoyed the first half, where Tsering talks about her childhood and early adulthood in Tibet before the Chinese invasion. Life in that time and place was very simple and had a lot of beauty, but a lot of harshness too. Tsering writes about the bad treatment of women in Tib ...more
Nov 26, 2010 Chris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After seeing the Dalai Lama last May, I thought this would be a great book to read, to discover more about his life. And this book didn't disappoint. Told from the mother's point of view, and it was about her early life and struggles as a woman in Tibet. She was born around 1901--she didn't know exactly when, since the woman was not thought of highly. She was more like a servant, and she had an arranged marriage. The in-laws wanted her to be married to her son when she was only 14, because they ...more
Jc cheek
Jul 17, 2012 Jc cheek rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography
Such a fantastic insight to Tibetan Culture, history and the personal life of the Dalai Lama's mother. After reading it, I almost feel like I've been to Tibet. It's written in such a candid and telling light, like a grandmother reminiscing old stories.
Jan 27, 2017 Heather rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As always, it is enjoyable to read about someone else's life. The writing could have been a bit better, it read like a list. First she went to A city, then to B city, then to C city. Many many paragraphs were just lists of places. The grammar was a rather direct translation at times. And it would have been more enjoyable if more word were translated. Leaving place and people names intact is important but leaving food names intact doesn't give the reader a visual.
Jan 10, 2017 Aziyade rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great book, an adventure experience
Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all)
I knew very little about Tibet (except, you know, the China thing) beyond what I've seen in a few nature documentaries where the emphasis was on animal and plant life, not the people, before reading this book. Somewhere I had got the idea that the Dalai Lama was from poor peasant stock, so was surprised to discover that his family were actually well-to-do landowners by Tibetan standards, with many well-connected relatives.

Diki Tsering tells her own story in her own words, and tells it well. Unf
Amy Rudolph
Apr 17, 2014 Amy Rudolph rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A niece of the Dalai Lama asked her grandmother to tell the story of her life and tape-recorded it; it was transcribed and translated from Tibetan, and the result is this autobiography of the Dalai Lama's mother. The style is simple, direct, and unadorned, as one might expect of a woman raised in a peasant family - many times this is effective, but sometimes I wished for more, as in the recounting of the years leading up to his exile, with the political intrigue and Communist infiltration of Tib ...more
The Dalai Lama's nephew continues the work of his sister in writing about their grandmother. Their grandmother provided the strength of their family. This book, gleaned from notes taken by her grandchildren, cover her life from peasant origins in Tibet to the escape and exile to India after the Chinese Communist takeover in 1959. The Dalai Lama does not take center stage in this book, thus leading me to think that the title of this book is all wrong. The subtitle A Mother's Autobiogaphy should h ...more
George Ilsley
Dec 14, 2015 George Ilsley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, memoir, tibet
As others have said, this memoir is has the wrong title. "A Mother's Story" is accurate, since it is mostly about herself and her perception of events that flowed around her. The memoir is not really about the Dalai Lama, although of course he is present (as are his brothers and sisters).

A simple story, simply told, of major events. Sometimes I wondered what things might actually look like that were sparsely described. For example, Tsering says that where she grew up, adultery was not tolerated
Sep 06, 2010 Mila rated it liked it
Shelves: biography
What an interesting life Diki Tsering had. She was born a peasant girl, living the simple farm life which all changed when her fifth child was recognized at age four as the incarnation of the Dalai Lama, the highest religious and political leader in Tibet! All of a sudden this poor, illiterate girl found herself in the company of aristocracy. Even though the book is a bit choppy, you can tell it's written from taped interviews, it is still a good story.
Jun 04, 2009 Irene rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was interesting to read about the Dalai Lama's mother's life. This book is a "transcript" of sorts - she orally relayed her life's story to a nephew. I was hoping to gain more insight into the Dalai Lama's life as a child, but because he was "taken" from the family so young, she offered surprisingly few details; I felt that I learned more about his childhood from other biographies.
Aug 08, 2010 Lily rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I borrowed this one from a friend. A quick read to learn how the Dalai Lama was born to this Tibetan woman. It's very spiritual; the Tibetan culture is rich in traditions and signs that are not logical to most western cultures. As a child, the Dalai Lama was able to pick out things "he" owned in a prior life as a former Lama.
Marsha Altman
Jun 30, 2008 Marsha Altman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: tibet
Very good, very descriptive of her early life in Amdo before the birth of her children (specifically the Dalai Lama) and her move to Lhasa. It was written by her son, I believe, but basically dictated to him (she had like 10 kids). More about her than the Dalai Lama, so the title is a little deceptive as she stops giving her opinion of him once he's enthroned, but it's enlightening all the same.
Very interesting glimpse into the lifestyle of a Tibetan woman and her customs as a child and young married woman.Wow! Those stories do not disappoint! Wished she shared more about her feelings of what it is like to be the mother of the Dali Lama. Short easy to read. Last half was a little confusing since I am not very familiar with Tibetan/Chinese history.
Cecy Covarrubias
Simplemente FANTASTICO!!! Gran relato, increible espiritu de la madre del Dalai Lama y las costumbres tan distintas en el Tibet! Gran ejemplo! Los admiro, respeto, amo. Hay mucho que entender y aprender de la gran Civilizacion Tibetana y hay que protegerla para que perdure por SIEMPRE!!! Ohm Mani Padme Hung!
Jun 21, 2012 Betty rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm on chapter 15 of 28 chapters. So far, I've thought it was slow, mainly cultural life of the Dalai Lama's mother's upbringing. I probably need this to relate to what I will read in the near future. Chapter 15 is titled "Ocean of Wisdo," where Diki Tsering tells of the Dalai Lama's birth, etc. I think it'll read faster & I'm looking forward to finishing the book.
Jun 29, 2014 Masha rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I wanted to read this book since I was in my teens. Finally found it online.
I think it's an important book to read for everyone who wants to know the Tibetan culture better and to understand it's history.
Mary Louise
Robert and I watched a documentary detailing this story, and the parents were both honored and horrified when their son was plucked from obscurity to become the Dalai Lama. Looking forward to reading his mother's version of this fascinating story.
Joyce Sigler
A very interesting insight into Tibetan life and culture. I enjoyed the book, but it is not well written. Much of the information and experiences related were fascinating, but it was very disjointed.
Jul 21, 2013 Nadia rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Love this woman. Read it in an afternoon, not complicated. More about her experiences than the Dalai Lamas, which is fine.... Just little misleading title. Worth it to understand the life of an amazing matriarch.
Dani d'Spirit
Nov 17, 2012 Dani d'Spirit rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was really great to read after meeting The Dalai Lama in person. Whenyou meet HH you get the sense of the "everyday " person, not someone special, or better than you are. He is very real.
Feb 21, 2015 Christine rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Small, but interesting, peek at Tibetan history in the years between the death of the Thirteenth Dalai Lama and the exile of the Fourteenth Dalai Lama.
Jane Fournier
Feb 16, 2016 Jane Fournier rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography
I purchased at Second Time Around. Always intrigued by Dalai Lama. This is a great book. Lets you see into the life of his mother and the lives of the people of Tibet.
Sep 07, 2015 Linda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really loved this account of the life of the Dalai Lama's mother. It's roughly written which matches nicely with the simple but detailed accounts of her life.
Nyings rated it it was amazing
Oct 08, 2015
Tenz...! rated it it was amazing
Jan 09, 2016
Chador rated it it was ok
Nov 30, 2013
Mary Jo
Mary Jo rated it it was amazing
Jan 18, 2013
Jeannette Gonzalez
Jeannette Gonzalez rated it it was amazing
Sep 12, 2007
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