Chinese Nation – Tibetan

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Tibetan is one of 56 nationalities in China and the indigenous people of the Qinghai Tibet Plateau. In China, it is mainly distributed in the Tibet Autonomous Region, Qinghai Province, Western Sichuan Province, Diqing of Yunnan Province, Gannan of Gansu Province, and other regions. Besides, it is also distributed in India, Bhutan, the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia, and other regions. Lhasa is the holy land of the Tibetan people. At present, there are about 7.5 million Tibetans in the world, about 7 million in China (2016), and the conservative estimate of the Tibetan population is more than 10 million.
Tibetan history is an integral part of Chinese history and one of the oldest ethnic groups in China and South Asia. After the establishment of the Tubo government in the early 7th century, the contact between Tubo and Tang Dynasty became more and more frequent. From the 10th century to the 16th century, the ancient Tibetan culture flourished. In 1951, Tibet was peacefully liberated.
Tibetans have their own language and writing. Tibetan belongs to the Tibetan branch of Tibeto Burmese language family of Sino Tibetan language family, which is divided into three dialects: Wei Tibetan, Kang, and Ando.
Tibetans generally believe in Tibetan Buddhism. In the seventh century AD, Buddhism was introduced into Tubo from Tianzhu, with a history of more than 1400 years. The Tibetan people have created a splendid national culture and left a very rich cultural heritage in literature, music, dance, painting, sculpture, architectural art, etc. The Tibetan people have excellent carving skills. Besides, Tibetan Opera is unique, and Tibetan medicine is also an important heritage of mankind.

Clothes & Accessories

Tibetan costumes, both men and women, remain intact. Different regions have different costumes. Men’s wear is vigorous and unconstrained; women’s wear is elegant and natural, especially with jewelry and jade as accessories, forming the unique style of plateau women.
The basic characteristics of Tibetan clothing are long sleeves, a wide waist, a long skirt, and long boots. This largely depends on the ecological environment of the Tibetan people and the way of production and life formed on this basis. This kind of clothes with a large structure can be used as a quilt to resist the wind and cold at night; the sleeves of the robe are spacious, and the arms can stretch freely. When the temperature rises during the day, one arm can be pulled out, which is convenient for heat dissipation and temperature regulation. Therefore, take off a sleeve of the costume will form a unique style of Tibetan clothing.
Tibetan clothing is colorful, and its characteristics are also highlighted in the color matching and composition. Tibetan costumes with bright colors will become the focus of artistic performances and festival activities, while the daily costumes of Tibetan people are mainly blue and white, with gorgeous belts or lace. In pastoral areas, the lace of Tibetan clothing is commonly used in blue, green, purple, green, yellow, rice, and other color blocks to form colorful ribbons in turn. Women’s leather robes are often decorated with a cross pattern of flower collar robes, which give people the association of “charity” and “caress”. Besides, Tibetan costumes boldly use contrasting colors such as red and green, white and black, red and blue, yellow and purple, with bold and exquisite color matching.
Tibetan compatriots attach great importance to “Hada” and regard it as the most precious gift. “Hada” is a snow-white fabric, which is about 20-30 cm wide and 1-2 meters long. It is made of yarn or silk. Every time there is a happy event, or a distant guest coming, or a visit to an elder, or a long journey to see him off, you have to pay homage to Hada.
Women wear long-sleeve gowns in winter and sleeveless gowns in summer. They wear shirts of various colors and patterns inside and wear an apron with colorful patterns in front of their waist.
There are many styles and different textures of Tibetan hats. Tibetan boots are one of the important characteristics of Tibetan clothing. The common ones are “Songbalamu” flower boots, whose soles are made of cotton thread and leather.
Tibetan men and women pay special attention to ornaments. The texture of ornaments includes silver, gold, pearl, agate, jade, jadeite, coral, amber, and so on. They are widely used in headwear, hair ornaments, earrings, necklaces, waist ornaments, and rings.
Most of the ornaments are related to the production in ancient times, and they are inlaid with gold and silver jewelry. The headdress is made of copper, silver, gold, jade, coral, and pearl. It has a beautiful shape, mostly natural shape, which can be said to be the finishing touch of Tibetan clothing.


(1) Etiquette

Tibetans are very particular about etiquette. In their daily life, there are different ways of bowing to elders and peers. When you see an elder or a respected person, you should take off your hat, bend down 45 degrees, hold the hat in your hand, and get close to the ground. At this time, you can only bow your head in front of your chest. In some areas, palming and bowing are used at the same time. Close your hands to show respect. This kind of gift is mostly used to meet the elderly or respected people.
Xianhada is a kind of etiquette with the highest standard of Tibetan hospitality, which expresses warm welcome and sincere respect to the guests. Hada is the Tibetan language, which means Shajin or silk scarf. They are mainly white, but also light blue or light yellow. Generally, they are about 1.5m to 2m long and about 20cm wide. The best are blue, yellow, white, green and red. Colorful Hadas is used in the highest and most solemn ceremonies, such as Buddhist ceremonies.
Tibetans kowtow when making a pilgrimage to Buddha statues, pagodas, living Buddhas, and paying homage to the elders. Kowtow is usually carried out in temples with religious activities. Hold your hands together and hold your head high. Bow to your head, forehead, and chest three times. Then crouch on the ground, stretch your hands and draw the ground as a sign. Kowtow is also carried out in temples. He closed his palms and arched three times, then arched his waist to the foot of the Buddha statue, and gently raised his head to express his sincere repentance. To pay homage to the elderly, we should kowtow our heads to show respect and blessing.
In Tibetan, “Pang” means “filth”, while “Se” means “clearing”. Pang Se refers to an activity of clearing bad luck. On the third or fourth day of a child’s birth, relatives and friends will bring highland barley wine, butter tea, clothes, and hats for the child to celebrate. First of all, ha Zan Da gives a toast to the baby’s mother and then gives a toast to the baby’s mother.

(2) Marriage customs

The marriage customs of Tibetan are different, but the basic steps are similar. For example, when a young man and woman are interested in each other, they have to ask the living Buddha to see if their future marriage is auspicious and their family is happy. If it is “lucky”, then the man or woman will invite his relatives or matchmaker to propose with Hada and gifts to the other party’s home. If the other party agrees with the marriage, he will accept Hada and gifts, and immediately present a Hada to the person, and return it as a gift. Then, the two sides negotiated the date of the engagement ceremony. At the engagement ceremony, the man or woman presents gifts and money to the other person’s home, makes an engagement, holds a banquet to celebrate, and finally asks the living Buddha to make divination and propose to sign, to choose the best wedding day.
On the day of marriage, either the bride goes to the man’s home or the groom goes to the woman’s home. Relatives lead horses to the other party’s home to meet the new couple, and the party who is welcomed takes his dowry with him and goes to the other party’s home to get married. After welcoming the new person, we arranged to take a seat on the special cushion and began to offer Hada and wine to them. In the evening, the new couple enters the bridal chamber. At this time, the relatives toast to them again and sing a song of blessing. May they grow old together and have good luck. Within half a year after marriage, the couple will return to the other’s home for a few days. So far, the whole wedding is over.
Tibetan food

(3) Diet

Tibetan people have their own unique food structure and eating habits, among which butter, tea, Zanba, beef, and mutton are known as the “four treasures” of the Tibetan diet. Besides, there are highland barley wine and all kinds of dairy products.
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