Author(s): Yangzom Brauen
Kunsang thought she would never leave Tibet. One of Tibet’s youngest nuns, she grew up in a remote mountain village where, as a teenager, she entered the local nunnery. Though simple, Kunsang’s life gave her all she needed: a oneness with nature, a sense of the spiritual in all things. She married a monk, had two children and lived in peace and prayer. But not for long. There was a saying in Tibet: ‘When the iron bird flies and horses run on wheels, the Tibetan people will be scattered like ants across the face of the earth.’ The Chinese invasion of Tibet in 1950 changed everything for Kunsang. When Chinese soldiers began destroying her monastery, she and her family were forced to flee in a hair-raising trek across the Himalayas in winter. She spent several years in Indian refuge camps. Both her husband and her younger child died. Then came an extraordinary turn of events: the arrival of Martin Brauen, a cultured young Swiss man with a fascination for Tibet, who fell in love with her daughter and took both of them to Switzerland where Yangzom would be born, the author of this remarkable book. Many important stories lie hidden until the right person arrives to tell them. Yangzom Brauen has rescued the story of her inspirational grandmother, writing a book full of love and endurance, and giving us a rare and vivid glimpse of life in rural Tibet before the arrival of the Chinese.
Born in 1980 to a Swiss father and Tibetan mother, Yangzom Brauen is an actress and political activist. She lives in both Los Angeles and Berlin and has appeared in a number of German and American films. She is also very active in the Free Tibet movement, making regular radio broadcasts about Tibet and organising public demonstrations against the Chinese occupation of Tibet. www.yangzombrauen.com