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16:44 Dec 15 2008

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English>>Tibet Online>>Files with Tibetan Areas>>Nationalities
14:59, December 12, 2008  

Tibetans are the principal inhabitants of Tibet. Their language belongs to the Tibetan sub-group of the Tibetan-Burmese group of the Sino-Tibetan language family. There are three main dialects: U-Tsang, Kham and Amdo. Most Tibetans work in agriculture and animal husbandry. Urban residents for the most part work in handicrafts, industry and commerce. Ethnic Tibetans follow Tibetan Buddhism.

They are enthusiastic and open-minded and good at singing and dancing. The Tibetan songs are pleasant to the ears and are often accompanied by dance.

Tibetans traditionally wear long-sleeved silk or cloth jackets which men top with loose robes and women with long sleeveless gowns which are tied at the waist with a sash. Married women frequently wear an apron with a multi-color design. Both women and men braid their hair and love wearing ornaments. Different areas have different clothing.

The staple food is zanba (roasted qingke barley flour or pea meal); tea with butter or milk is the favorite of all Tibetans. They have a liking for qingke barley wine, beef and mutton, but do not eat horses.

In ancient times Tibetans buried their dead in the ground but in modern times Tibetans practise celestial burial (in which the corpse is chopped to bits and exposed on a mountain face to be eaten by vultures and other birds of prey), cremation and water burial.

By People's Daily Online

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