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  • Tibetan

  • Area: Diqing,Tibet,
  • The Tibetan people (Wylie: Bodpa; Chinese: 藏族; pinyin: Zàng Zú) are an ethnic group that is native to Tibet, which is mostly in the People's Republic of China. They number 5.4 million and are the 10th largest ethnic group in the country. Significant Tibetan minorities also live in India, Nepal, and Bhutan. The Khampas of Tibet are originally from Mongolia.
    Tibetans speak the Tibetan language, which belongs to the Sino-Tibetan languages and has many mutually unintelligible dialects. The traditional, or mythological, explanation of the Tibetan people's origin is that they are the descendants of the monkey Pha Trelgen Changchup Sempa and rock ogress Ma Drag Sinmo. Most Tibetans practice Tibetan Buddhism, though some observe the indigenous Bön and others are Muslims. Tibetan Buddhism influences Tibetan art, drama, and architecture, while the harsh geography of Tibet has produced an adaptive culture of Tibetan medicine and cuisine.

Language

The Tibetan languages are a cluster of mutually-unintelligible Tibeto-Burman languages spoken primarily by Tibetan peoples who live across a wide area of eastern Central Asia bordering the Indian subcontinent, including the Tibetan Plateau and the northern Indian subcontinent in Baltistan, Ladakh, Nepal, Sikkim, and Bhutan. The classical written form is a major regional literary language, particularly for its use in Buddhist literature.

For political reasons, the dialects of central Tibet (including Lhasa), Khams, and Amdo in China are considered dialects of a single Tibetan language, while Dzongkha, Sikkimese, Sherpa, and Ladakhi are generally considered to be separate languages, although their speakers may consider themselves to be ethnically Tibetan. However, this does not reflect linguistic reality: Dzongkha and Sherpa, for example, are closer to Lhasa Tibetan than Khams or Amdo are.

The Tibetan languages are spoken by approximately 6 million people. Lhasa Tibetan is spoken by approximately 150,000 exile speakers who have moved from modern-day Tibet to India and other countries. Tibetan is also spoken by groups of ethnic minorities in Tibet who have lived in close proximity to Tibetans for centuries, but nevertheless retain their own languages and cultures. Although some of the Qiangic peoples of Kham are classified by the People's Republic of China as ethnic Tibetans, Qiangic languages are not Tibetan, but rather form their own branch of the Tibeto-Burman language family.

Classical Tibetan was not a tonal language, but some varieties such as Central and Khams Tibetan have developed tone. (Amdo and Ladakhi/Balti are without tone.) Tibetan morphology can generally be described as agglutinative, although Classical Tibetan was largely analytic

History

According to archeological findings, the ancestors of the Zang lived in the Brahmaputra River delta. Historical records suggest that the Zang were part of the Xiqiang group during the Han Dynasty (206 BC - 220). As the Han people stepped into the Tang Dynasty (618 - 907), they and the Zang developed a profound friendship, which culminated in the marriage of the Tang princess Wencheng and the leader of Tibet, Songtsen Gampo. Many believe that it was Princess WenCheng that first brought Buddhism to Tibet, where it quickly spread. In the 13th century, the Mongols established the Yuan Dynasty (1271 - 1368), and began to exert sovereignty in Tibet

Religion

  Most Tibetans generally observe Tibetan Buddhism or a collection of native traditions known as Bön (also absorbed into mainstream Tibetan Buddhism). There is also a minority Tibetan Muslim population.

Legend said that the 28th king of Tibet, Thothori Nyantsen, dreamed of a sacred treasure falling from heaven, which contained a Buddhist sutra, mantras, and religious objects. However, because the Tibetan script had not been invented, the text could not be translated in writing and no one initially knew what was written in it. Buddhism did not take root in Tibet until the reign of Songtsän Gampo, who married two Buddhist princesses, Bhrikuti of Nepal and Wencheng of China. It then gained popularity when Padmasambhāva visited Tibet at the invitation of the 38th Tibetan king, Trisong Deutson.

Today, one can see Tibetans placing Mani stones prominently in public places. Tibetan lamas, both Buddhist and Bön, play a major role in the lives of the Tibetan people, conducting religious ceremonies and taking care of the monasteries. Pilgrims plant prayer flags over sacred grounds as a symbol of good luck.

The prayer wheel is a means of simulating chant of a mantra by physically revolving the object several times in a clockwise direction. It is widely seen among Tibetan people. In order not to desecrate religious artifacts such as Stupas, mani stones, and Gompas, Tibetan Buddhists walk around them in a clockwise direction, although the reverse direction is true for Bön. Tibetan Buddhists chant the prayer "Om mani padme hum", while the practitioners of Bön chant "Om matri muye sale du".

Culture

Living on the world famous plateau, the Tibetan people also boast a unique lifestyle and set of skills. In the field of the arts, Tibetan calligraphy values strictness and delicateness, be it on steles or sutras; The Thangka and other Buddhist pictures, with fluent lines and bright colors, depict figures vividly; their architecture, like the Potala Place and Jokhang Temple, is charming and brilliant; the Zang people are famous for expressing their feelings through song and dance, notably the step dance and the masked Tibetan opera. Princess Wencheng is one of the eight best known plays.
In the scientific arena, Tibetan medicine, combining various forms of traditional Chinese medicine, is said to have developed the schools of acupuncture and massage. The Mentsekhang (Tibetan Traditional Hospital) is its home. The Tibetan calendar is also worthy of mention, for it is complete and has helped the Zang people a lot

Food

The Cuisine of tibetan reflects the rich heritage of the country and people's adaptation to high altitude and religious culinary restrictions. The most important crop is barley. Dough made from barley flour, called tsampa, is the staple food of Tibet. This is either rolled into noodles or made into steamed dumplings called momos. Meat dishes are likely to be yak, goat, or mutton, often dried, or cooked into a spicy stew with potatoes. Mustard seed is cultivated in Tibet, and therefore features heavily in its cuisine. Yak yoghurt, butter and cheese are frequently eaten, and well-prepared yoghurt is considered something of a prestige item.

Clothing

Most Tibetans wear their hair long, although in recent times due to Chinese influence, some men do crop their hair short. The women plait their hair into two queues, the girls into a single queue.

Because of Tibet's cold weather, the men and women wear long thick dresses (chuba). The men wear a shorter version with pants underneath. The style of the clothing varies between regions.[citation needed] Nomads often wear thick sheepskin versions.

Festival

The most important festival in the calendar is the first day of the Tibetan New Year. They clean their rooms in preparation for that day, paint symbols of auspice, and warmly greet each other in the morning. On the fifteenth day, they attend the Butter Lamp Festival. Another festival, the Saka Dawa Festival falls on the fifteenth day of the fourth month, and celebrates the birth of Sakyamuni and the arrival of Princess Wencheng. This festival involves a wide range of activities. On the Shoton Festival, the first day of the seventh Tibetan month, they take pots and wares to enjoy tea, yogurt and yak butter tea in a scenic place. The Great Prayer Festival and The Bathing Festival are also important festivals. If you are a guest in Tibet, the Zang people may give you a gift of a 'hada', a kind of white ribbon. This represents their warmest heart