Loading...
Home » Tibet » Tibetan Culture and Tradition
Tibetan Culture and Tradition2018-12-12T09:48:19+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, Buddhism has a strong influence on 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.

Read More Here

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.

Read More Here

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.

Read More Here

4) Tibetan Marriage

Tibetan marriage custom and the wedding ceremony is mainly influenced by your source close connect environment and our belief systems. The marriage one of the primary social institutions in Tibet. The practice of polyandry in very common in rural Tibet. Yet in the urban areas, the practice of Monogamy is more prominent.  Our marriage system has more closely associated with the social aspect of our life rather than a religious life.  Traditionally all the marriage are arranged by elder members of the family members.

Read More Here

5) Tibetan Song and Dance

Tibet is known as the Ocean of Songs and Dances. Since childhood, all the children are introduced 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 the 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 be accompanied by their songs and to express their feelings.

Read More Here

6) Tibetan Opera

Tibetan opera is known as Lhamo or Ache Lhamo in Tibetan. During your Tibet travel, you will often find the Tibetan opera performance in villages and if you visit Lhasa during the Lhasa Yogurt festival. The cultural wisdom of Tibetan for thousands of year and clearly reflected in the Tibetan opera. Many Tibetologist consider Tibetan opera as the living fossil of Tibetan culture. Legend has it that in 14th mystic Thangtong Gyalpo found the culture of Tibetan opera to raise the fund for building iron bridge throughout the Tibetan Plateau. He received the help from 12 sisters to perform in the Opera. Which are the first Ache Lhamo (Meaning sister goddess).

Read More Here

7) Tibetan Architecture

Traditional Tibetan Architecture is easily-Recognizable forms of architecture and one of the world’s most unique. Yet, studies of Tibetan architecture is still very much unexplored field. With the construction of the first Tibetan Buddhist temple in Central Tibet, we have 1300 year of written history of About Tibetan architecture. Tibetan construction activities can be traced back over 1300 years when the first Buddhist temples were built in central TibetJokhang temple is said to be the first construction in Tibet. Yet there are some buildings which are said to be older than the Temple.

Read More Here

8) 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.

Read More Here

9) 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.

Read More Here

10) Tibetan Jewelry 

Traditionally Tibetan are very fond of the jewelry. Every man and woman should have a piece of gold on their body. We believe it will enhance the spiritual power over the bad omens and evil spirits.  The primarily in jewelry components are gold and silver with the ornaments of precious stone. We not only use jewelry for oneself, but also on the statues of Deities and Buddha. Offering jewelry to the holy statues are often consider to generate lots of positive virtue for the donor.

Read More Here

11) Traditional Tibetan Clothing

Environment and climatic Condition of the local are the main factors deciding on the cloth wear by Tibetan. The main clothing item in Tibet is robe (we call it Cuba). All the major traditional Tibetan clothing items are woven with Yak and Sheep wool.  Tibetan robes are of the body high, open upper front and using a piece of cloth to tie it up.  Tibetan robes are loose, comfy and wide.

Read More Here

12) Khata

Khata is one of the essential pieces of cloth in Tibetan culture. The term Khata is an informal and the formal term for the traditional Tibetan scarf is call Jel-Dhar. The most common color of the Khata is white to signify the purity of the intention of the offerer, with no negative thoughts or motives behind it. There are other colors use in Khata like Blue, red, green and Yellow. It looks like a long scarf, and it has auspicious signs and Mantras inscribed on it. It is an essential part on our life and would use for all the occasion from birth to marriage and even death. It is a sign of love and respect for others. The offering of Khata is one of the most well-known customs in Tibetan culture. When you arrive in Tibet for your Tibet travel, you will be offered the Khata on arrival or departure from Lhasa or Tibet.

Read More Here
Contact Us

Tibet Culture Tour

We can offer Specialize Culture Tour in Tibet, Kham (Sichuan) and Amdo (Qinghai). Contact Us if you are interested. We can offer a special discount to Groups.

Contact Us

Read More of other topics on Tibet

About Us

I-Tibet travel is a local Tibetan travel agency based in Tibet. We are one of the oldest Tibetan travel agency in Lhasa. We can arrange all the Document required for your Tibet travel including Tibet travel permit. We offer wide ranges of Tibet tour packagesTibet group tours for Budget travel, You can also booking your Tibet flight tickets and Tibet train tickets with us. I hope you will choose a Local Tibetan travel agency to travel to Tibet.

If You Enjoyed This Post
Join Our Newsletter
Subscribe
Subscribe to a News Letter from Tibet
If You Enjoyed This Post
Join Our Newsletter
Subscribe
Subscribe to a News Letter from Tibet
close-link
Subscribe
SUBSCRIBE NOW
i-tibet travel logo

Join Our Newsletter  

Stay updated with all latest updates, upcoming tours & much more.
close-link