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12:39 May 10 2009

Special ReportNetizen's VoiceMedia Voice
English>>Tibet Online
Tibetan traditional customs
12:37, May 10, 2009  

As Tibet ushered in the best tourist season in May, more and more travelers will enter this plateau to enjoy its exotic scenery. Here are some tips about the Tibetan ethnic group's traditional customs and practices for visitors to spend a good time there.

Presenting white silk scarf "Hada," the symbol of good luck, is the grandest etiquette among the hospitable Tibetan ethnic group. You should incline your body when receiving the Hada.


Photo shows a Tibetan woman presenting "Hada," a white silk scarf, which symbolizes good luck for the Tibetan ethnic group. (Xinhua Photo)


Do not step doorsill when you are invited to a Tibetan home. When addressing them, you may add "la" behind their names so as to show your respect and amiability.

If the hosts ask you to take a seat, you may sit cross-legged. Do not stretch your legs with soles to others.

Use both hands to receive gifts.

Do not touch the top of the head of the Tibetans.


Photo shows a Tibetan girl pouring a cup of barley liquor for a foreign friend. (Xinhua Photo)


Tibetan people always drink a toast when treating friends. Before a dinner starts, you may experience the etiquette of "Drink a Glass of Liquor with Three Sips."

To be specific, you will be asked to wet ring-finger with a touch of barley liquor and flick it toward the sky, midair and ground respectively, in order to show your esteem to the heaven, earth and ancestors or to Buddha, Dharma and Sangha (the Buddhist community), and then take a sip.

The host will fill up the glass again before your second sup. After sipping like this for three times, you should drink up the remaining liquor in your glass.


Photo shows a Tibetan woman rolling a prayer wheel. (Source: tibet.cn)


Monasteries are regarded as the main scenic spots in Tibet. The Tibetans always believe in the Tibetan Buddhism. You must walk clockwise when rolling a prayer wheel, but in some monasteries of the Tibetan Bon religion, you have to walk counterclockwise.

Do not make noise or touch Buddha statues in Buddha halls. Do not take photos or to make videos clips there without permission.

The Tibetan people enjoy full freedom in religious belief. Their daily life also has much to do with religion.


Photo shows a man feeding a sheep bought from butcher to set free. (Xinhua Photo)


Sometimes, you may find many aged Tibetan people followed with some sheep with red silk while they are turning prayer wheels. You should not meddle with such sheep. They are bought by those religious believers from butchers to set free.

For the Tibetans, sticking out the tongue means expressing your modesty and respect for others. If they put their palms together, that means the best wish for you.

Source: Xinhua

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