I was born in a small town in northern India. When I was eight, my family moved to the United States. I can speak five different languages and three of them fluently: Tibetan, English and Hindi. Since I am able to speak several languages fluently, learning new languages comes pretty easily to me. When I took Chinese and French classes, I didn’t see myself trying as hard as other students in my class and even so, I would do just as well as them on the speeches and tests.
My name is Kunga Deyang. “Kunga” meaning happy and “Deyang” meaning healthy in Tibetan. Tibetans rely heavily on their past tradition and culture. Ulike in the U.S where your last name is passed down to you by your father, in Tibet, neither the wife or the child takes the last name from the husband/father. Instead, before you are born or withing several weeks that you are born, your parents will take you to a monk that will give you your name. The monks have their own signature first or last name and one of the most popular name in Tibet is Tenzin given by the Dalai Lama. My parents chose four different monks to name each of my four siblings. I was given me my name by a highly recognized monk named, Sakya Gongma Rinpoche whose signature name is Kunga. So when you meet someone with the same last name as you, we just assume that we were named by the same monk.