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Tibetan Culture and Tradition2018-10-15T04:50:27+00:00

Tibetan Culture and Tradition

Tibetan Culture. Due to its Geographical and Climatic condition, Tibet has developed a unique culture. With the significate influence from the neighboring cultures from other parts of China, India, and Nepal. The inaccessibility and remoteness of this Himalayan region have helped preserve and develop the distinct local culture in Tibet.

Since its introduction in the seventh century, the Buddhism has the strong influence on the Tibetan Culture. Tibetan Art, Literature, Music and all our expectations of our daily life contain elements of Buddhist beliefs. Buddhism itself has evolved in this unique form main influence the pre-Buddhist nature religion call Bön religion.

Tibet’s climatic and geographic have encouraged dependence on pastoralism, also the development of a unique cuisine from surrounding regions, which fits the needs of the human body in these high altitudes. During your tours in Tibet, You will experience our unique culture and tradition in Tibet. Because all our Tibet tour packages are designed to maximize authentic Tibet travel experiences.

Here we would like to discuss the few aspects of Tibetan Culture;

1) Tibetan Burial

Due to the Unique environmental condition and the influence of Buddhist philosophy, we have a very unique form of Burials in Tibet. So Traditionally during the time of the Tibetan kings, we practice land cremation. Later we practice Burial base on the four elements. The Sky burial, Land Burial, Water burial, Cremation of the body in the fire and Stupa Burial.

Tibetan Sky Burial is usually done for the lay people, Land Burial is for the person who dies from the Deadly decreases, water burial is for the Small babies, Fire Cremation is for the high lamas and Stupa burial is for preserving the bodies of the Enlighted lamas.

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2) Tibet Language

Our Language is classified as one of the 23 Tibeto-Burman Language. It is spoken widely in the Himalayan regions and the entire area of Tibetan-Qinghai plateau. But there are variations of Dialects in the different region. Therefore, Many would often mistake it for different languages due to the difference in pronunciation and vocabulary.

Generally, Tibetan dialects comprise; Toe Key, spoken in Ladakh in India and the far western region of Tibet including the Mount Everest region. U key, spoken in central Tibet, Amdo Key in Qinghai Province and Gansu Province of China. Kham Key spoke in Qamdo Prefecture in Eastern Tibet, Part of Sichuan province, Part of Yunnan province and Yushu prefecture of Qinghai. Yet the written land of Tibetan is the same throughout the region.

Tibetan Written languages date back to the prehistorical period. But in the 7th century, During the rule of King Songtsen Gampo. He sends 17 boys to India to learn languages. Upon arriving back Thon-mi Sambhota, improvise the written languages to make it common for all the regions. He introduces an additional 4 additional consonants. He also wrote eight treatises on the Tibetan Grammar. Out of which only two survive. Since then Tibetan written language has improved in the different period of Tibet.

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3) Tibetan food

Due to the elevation of Tibet, we have very limited fruits and crops in Tibet. Our Farmers mainly grows Barley, Wheat, reddish and potatoes. Another major source of food in Tibet is from the Animals. We have the very limited period of three months for our crops to grow and we would preserve it for the entire year.

Tsampa is the main staple food in Tibet. It is made from the roasted barley in the water mill. However, We would preserve the barley and make Tsampa as per the need. We would mix the Tsampa with Butter tea to make it Päk.

Due to the harsh climate of the high altitude, we only have few vegetables in Tibet. Our other traditional cuisines are mostly non-vegetarian and those are only accessible for the rich families. Nowadays these traditional meals are available everywhere due to the increase of greenhouse and modernization of farming in Tibet.

We never eat seafood and Wild Animals, In Entire Tibet, there is only one small village which traditionally allows the eat fish.

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4) Tibetan Songs and Dance

Tibet is known as the Ocean of Songs and Dances. Since childhood all the children are introduce to songs and dances. We use the songs and dance to introduce the Buddhist philosophy to young ones and teach them of the really to human existence and Norms.

We have dances and songs for all the occasions. Different categories of our dance and songs are; Wedding, Love, Archery, social Gathering, folk, Drinking, Labor and we even have songs and dance to introduce the Buddhist teaching and life story of enlightened being.  Songs and Dances are deeply connected to our life in Tibet.

On the vast open area of Tibetan plateau, Lonely nomads catering herd of their animals would accompanied by their songs and to express their feelings.

5) Tibetan Opera

We have a very unique form of Opera in Tibet. Tibetan opera dates back to the 15th Century. It was founded by the Tibetan Yogic and engineer Thangthong Gyalpo. He with the help seven-man and Women performed Tibetan Opera throughout the Tibet to raise fund for building chain Bridge. They built the total of 108 Chain bridge in Tibet. Since then it became a most popular show during the Tibet Festivals. Most of the theme of the Tibetan opera is based on the Buddhist legends

6) Tibetan Architecture

In Tibet, due to the less accessibility of the transportation in old days. All our traditional houses are built using the local materials. Which is why different regions in Tibet has a different style in Housing.

In Central Tibet, houses are built with the combination of Stone, earth, and Wood. In eastern Tibet, we use mostly wood and very thin wall. Most house in eastern Tibet has a peaked roof to sustain the house in long monsoon season.

We have a tradition of using prayer flags as much as possible. Usually, you will find prayer flags in all the corner of our roof. All our doors and windows are decorated with colorful cloth and beautiful paintings.

All the house in Tibet has a temple. The temple is the main and most important part of a home.  It would be fully decorated with images of Buddha, scripture, and offerings. Especially in the Village house, the ground floor is always for the Animals.

The most iconic buildings in Tibet is the Potala Palace, Guge Kingdom, and the Jokhang Temple.

7) Tibetan Prayer Flag

Tibetan prayer flag is used to promote peace, compassion, and wisdom.  As you arrive in Tibet, the first and foremost welcoming signs you would see in Tibet is a beautiful prayer flag. which we hang on our rooftop and the mountain pass. The flags are a very important cultural and religiously important to us. Tibetan prayer flags have inscriptions of auspicious symbols, Invocation, Sutra, and Mantras. This inscription believes in producing a spiritual vibration that is activated on the touch of the wind and carried on to the high distance. Whoever will be touch by the wind will get uplifted and become a little happier. Because these small prayers dissolved in the wind and extend to all space and benefit the entire sentence being.

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8) Tibetan Art and Crafts

Tibetan use the skill and crafts for expressing their belief and devotion to Buddhism. From making the Mask to the painting Thangka, it is most important for us to do it for the proposal to spirituality. Therefore, During your trip in Tibet, you can visit some of the Tibetan handicraft centers. Where you will see the Tibetan arts and Crafts in Making.

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