Etiquette and customs
Tibetan Names Tibetan here only has first name, but no surnames. Most names are given by the Living Buddha, so Buddhist ideas are always involved in, such as Duoji (god) and Danba (Buddhism). And some other ideas involved, such as Nima(the sun), Dawa(the moon), Pachu(little pig).
Clothes & Decorations Tibetan here belongs to Kham Tibetan group, their faces are good looking and their dressings are extremely graceful finery. No matter ladies or gentlemen, all dressed from top to bottom by various colored, shaped and designed decorations made from gold, silver, copper, agate, emerald, and turquoise. Makes a noble and mysterious feeling.
Diet Zangba is the staple food, which looks like mainland China fried wheat flour, prepared with main ingredients of barley flour as well as pea and oat powder. Tibetans bring the Zanba cake wherever they go, to farm, to graze and to travel. It is a convenient fast food, especially welcome in sparsely populated and fuel-scarce areas.Butter (ghee) tea is the main ingredients, as well as walnut kernel, peanut and sesame, egg and salt, being stirred & mix in a barrel, then mixed with boiled tea.. After being stirred for a few seconds, a fragrant barrel of buttered tea is ready. It is poured into a big kettle and kept warm on a stove for drinking. After refining of ghee, the rest milk can be refined again to make milk cake. And then, boiling the rest liquid to steam water, Tibetan vinegar comes out. And hang beef in cool place, winding to dry, tastes so delicious.
Marriages Before a couple's engagement, they go to see the Living Buddha to ask for their fate suitable or not to make the final decision. After engagement, they exchange gifts. Their traditional wedding is such a happy and grand ceremony.
Funeral Water burial and inhumation, cremation are the three most popular ones. Which to choose depends on the decedent social class.
Singing and Dancing Enjoy the poetic and picturesque scenery, then come and experience Khampa customs and habits. The Tibetan people are good at dancing and singing. As fresh flowers are never without dewdrops, so the Tibetan people are never without their songs and dances. They use song and dance to communicate their emotions, to express their ideas and wishes, and to convey their happiness and sadness. That is to say, all 15,000 square kilometers of Ganzi Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture is a dance stage whose curtains never close. You can also say that richly beautiful Ganzi Prefecture is a sea of song and dance. Even on the grasslands, the sheep graze to the tune of Tibetan songs, and in the fields, sweat rolls off the backs of workers as they sing. Warmly gracious Khampa people treat guests as royalty. They will invite you to drink warm yak butter tea and taste mildly sweet barley wine. At night, Khampa people will dance the lovely 'Ge Zhuang' dance. It will make you feel at home.
Etiquette Tibetans are the most polite people. The most popular etiquette is offering others Hada, especially when they serve friends, visit eldership, marriage and festivals, present themselves before the Living Buddha. If someone offers you a Hada, which means he offers you his pure, faithful, respect and auspicious wish. Most Hada is made of raw silk, still some is made of best silk, and long one is 3m while short one is 1-2m. Most of them you can see are white, which means pureness and auspicious. However, sometimes there are yellow ones, which is the most honored.
Tibetans always kowtow before Buddha, Buddhist tower and Buddhist holly land, or seeing the living Buddha. When they meet elderships and respective people, usually they take their hats off and bow 45 to show their respect.If they meet friends, they will,then ,hold hats in hand at chest and nod head hello, saying Zhaxidele!
As a guest in Tibetan family, the first thing the host does is to toast guests Qingke liquor(a kind of wine made of highland barley). Guests should dip Qingke liquor by right middled finger and flip three times in air, and then empty it. Otherwise the host may feel unhappy by the thought that his guests are impolite or look down upon him. When all sit around table crossed-legged, guests are served with butter tea. It is better to drink more than two bowls, which makes host happy.
Daocheng Y Travel guide
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