The Tibetan Culture

Tibetan culture is  developed a distinct culture due to its geographic and climatic conditions. While influenced by neighboring cultures from China, India, and Nepal, the Himalayan regions remoteness and inaccessibility have preserved distinct local influences, and stimulated the development of its distinct Tibetan culture.

Tibetan Buddhism has exerted a particularly strong influence on Tibetan culture since its introduction in the seventh century. Buddhist missionaries who came mainly from India, Nepal and China introduced arts and customs from India and China. Art, literature, and music all contain elements of the prevailing Buddhist beliefs, and Buddhism itself has adopted a unique form in Tibet, influenced by the Bon tradition and other local beliefs. 

Several works on astronomy, astrology and medicine were translated from Sanskrit and Classical Chinese. The general appliances of civilization have come from China, among many things and skill imported were the making of butter, cheese, barley-beer, pottery, watermills  and the national beverage, butter tea. Tibet’s specific geographic and climatic conditions have encouraged reliance on pastoralism, as well as the development of a different cuisine from surrounding regions, which fits the needs of the human body in these high altitudes.

Tibetan culture

Tibetan Language

The Tibetan language is spoken in a variety of dialects in all parts of the Tibetan-inhabited area which covers 1/2 Million square miles. Some of these dialects are tonal like the Chinese language, while others remain non-tonal. Historically Tibet  was divided into three cultural provinces called U-Tsang, Kham and Amdo. Each one of these three provinces has developed its own distinct dialect of Tibetan. Most widely spoken is the Lhasa dialect, also called Standard Tibetan, which is spoken in Central Tibet and also in Exile by most Tibetans. In Kham the Kham Tibetan dialect is spoken and in Amdo the Amdo Tibetan dialect. The Tibetan dialects are subject to the Tibetic language  which are part of the Tibeto-Burman language. Modern Tibetan derives from Classical Tibetan, which is the written norm, and from Old Tibetan. The official language of Bhutan, Dzongkha, is also closely related to Tibetan.

Tibetan language

Tibetan Rugs

 Tibetan culture is rugs making is an ancient art and craft in the tradition of Tibetan people. These rugs are primarily made from Tibetan highland sheep’s virgin wool. The Tibetan uses rugs for almost any domestic use from flooring to wall hanging to horse saddles. Traditionally the best rugs are from Gyantse, a city which is known for its rugs.

The process of making Tibetan rugs is unique in the sense that almost everything is done by hand. But with the introduction of modern technology, a few aspects of the rug making processes have been taken over by machine primarily because of cost, the disappearance of knowledge etc. Moreover, some new finishing touches are also made possible by machine.

Tibetan rugs are big business in not only Tibet, but also Nepal, where Tibetan immigrants brought with them their knowledge of rug making. Currently in Nepal the rug business is one of the largest industries in the country and there are many rug exporter.

Rugs

 

Painting

Thangkas, a syncretic art of Chinese hanging scroll with Nepalese and Kashmiri painting, first survive from the eleventh century. Rectangular and intricately painted on cotton or linen, they are usually traditional compositions depicting deities, famous monks, and other religious, astrological, and theological subjects, and sometimes mandalas. To ensure that the image will not fade, the painting is framed in colorful silk brocades, and stored rolled up. The word thangka means “something to roll” and refers to the fact that thangkas can easily be rolled up for transportation.

Besides thangkas, Tibetan Buddhist wall painting can be found on temple walls as frescos and furniture and many other items have ornamental painting.

Painting

Architecture

Tibetan architecture contains Chinese and Indian influences, and reflects a deeply Buddhist approach. The prayer wheel, along with two deer or dragons, can be seen on nearly every temple in Tibet. The design of stupas can vary, from roundish walls in Kham to squarish, four-sided walls in Lakdakh.

The most unusual feature of Tibetan architecture is that many of the houses and monasteries are built on elevated, sunny sites facing the south, and are often made of a mixture of rocks, wood, cement and earth. Little fuel is available for heat or lighting, so flat roofs are built to conserve heat, and multiple windows are constructed to let in sunlight. Walls are usually sloped inwards at 10 degrees as a precaution against frequent earthquakes in the mountainous area.

Architecture

source;https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tibetan_culture

Clothing

 

Tibetans tend to be conservative in their dress, and though some have taken to wearing Western clothes, traditional styles still abound. Women wear dark-colored wrap dresses over a blouse, and a colorfully striped, woven wool apron, called pangden signals that she is married. Men and women both wear long sleeves even in summer months.

Clothes

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Momo Tibetan Food

Momo is utterly unique and delicious, Tibetan dumplings are basically the unofficial national dish of Tibet. Every Tibetan family has a slightly different momo recipe, with various theories on how to make them the juiciest and delicious, or how to keep the dough skins to the desired delicate thinness.

The variations are endless – momo can be meat, vegetarian, steamed (the most popular), fried, and cooked in soup. Here, we show you how to cook both beef momos and Lobsang’s unique and wonderful vegetarian momos. You might like to try also cheese and spinach momo or the super tasty chicken momo. 

Momo

The Dough Momo

First of all, make the dough.

If you want to make momo dough for four people, use about 2 cups of wheat flour (we don’t use whole wheat, but rather use white, all-purpose flour) and somewhere between 3/4 cups and 1 cup of water. The amount will depend on your particular flour. (You don’t have to be very exact about these measurements — Tibetans never are!

Mix the flour and water very well by hand and keep adding water until you make a pretty smooth ball of dough.

Then knead the dough very well until the dough is flexible.

Now leave your dough in the pot with the lid on while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.

You should not let the dough dry out, or it will be hard to work with.

The doughThe doughThe dough

The filling

We make momo with either meat or vegetables. In Tibet, they often use yak meat, but here we usually use any meat, or just vegetables for our vegetarian friends.

Chop all the following ingredients into very, very small pieces:

  • Two onions
  • Two inches fresh ginger
  • Two or three cloves of garlic
  • A bunch of cilantro
  • One pound of cabbage
  • One pound of tofu*
  • A one-quarter pound of dark brown mushrooms (I buy them dried from Asian markets)*
  • Two tablespoons of soy sauce
  • One teaspoon of chicken, beef, or vegetable bouillon.   For meat momo filling, add:
    One pound of ground beef: This beef replaces the mushrooms and tofu in the vegetable recipe.If you have enough time, you can use un-ground beef and chop the meat into very small pieces.For both kinds of momos, but all of the ingredients in a pot or big bowl, then add a teaspoon of bouillon and two tablespoons of soy sauce.Mix everything together very well.(If you are making meat momo with ground beef, you may need to use your hands to mix it up.

    The filling

    Shaping Momo

    When your dough and filling are both ready, it is time for the tricky part of making the dumpling shapes.

    For this, place the dough on a chopping board and use a rolling pin to roll it out quite thinly.

    It should not be so thin that you can see through it when you pick it up, nor should it be quite as thick as a floppy disk for a computer (remember those? :-).

    Somewhere between those two should work out.

    After you have rolled out the dough, you will need to cut it into little circles for each momo.

    The easiest way to do this is to turn a small cup or glass upside down to cut out circles about the size of the palm of your hand.

    That way, you don’t have to worry about making good circles of dough because each one will be the same size and shape.

    Of course, you can also make the circles by the more traditional, and more difficult, way of pinching off a small ball of dough and rolling each ball in your palms until you have a smooth ball of dough.

    Then, you can use a rolling pin to flatten out the dough into a circle, making the edges thinner than the middle. This is much harder to do, and takes more time, though many Tibetans still use this method.

    Now that you have a small, flat, circular piece of dough, you are ready to add the filling and make the momo shapes.

    There are many, many different choices for momo shapes, and I will teach you two of the most common, the basic round momo, and the half-moon shapes.

    (Of these two, the half-moon shape is easier.)

    source https://www.yowangdu.com/tibetan-food/momos.htmlRound momo                                                                    ROUND MOMO

    For both shapes, you will need to put one circle of dough in your left hand and add a tablespoonful of filling in the center of the dough. Or reverse all of these instructions if you are left-handed.

    With your right hand, begin to pinch the edge of the dough together.

    Basically, you will be pinching the whole edge of the circle into one spot.

    Continue folding and pinching all around the edge of the circle until you come back around to where you started and then close the hole with a final pinch.

    Make sure you close the hole on top of the momo. That way you don’t lose the juicy.

     

     

     

    Half moon momo                                                                HALF MOON MOMO 

    For this style, you begin the same as with the round momo style, holding the flat circular dough in your left hand and putting a tablespoon of filling in the middle of the dough.

    Then you have to fold your circle of dough in half, covering over the filling.

    Now press together the two edges of the half-circle so that there is no open edge in your half-circle, and the filling is completely enclosed in the dough.

    You will now have the basic half-moon shape, and you can make your momo pretty by pinching and folding along the curved edge of the half-circle.

    Start at one tip of the half-moon, and fold over a very small piece of dough, pinching it down.

    Continue folding and pinching from the starting point, moving along the edge until you reach the other tip of the half-moon.

    You can experiment with different folds and pinches to find the way that is easiest and nicest for you.

    As you are making your momos, you will need to have a non-stick surface and a damp cloth or lid handy to keep the momo you’ve made from drying out while you’re finishing the others.

    You can lay the momos in the lightly-greased steamer and keep the lid on them, or you can lay them on wax paper and cover them with a damp cloth.

    Steaming Momo

Finally, you should boil water in a large steamer. (Tibetans often use double or even huge triple-decker steamers, to make many momos at one time.)

Oil the steamer surface lightly before putting the momos in, so they won’t stick to the metal, then place as many as you can without touching each other.

Add the momos after the water is already boiling.

Steam the momos for about 10 minutes, then serve them hot, with soy sauce or hot sauce of your choice to dip them in.

Tibetan hot sauce, is perfect for momos.

At home, along with homemade chili, we use soy sauce and spicy, which we get in Indian stores, or the Asian section of supermarkets. 

Be careful when you take the first bite of the hot momos since the juice is very, very hot, and can burn you easily.

Momos are very good for your social life. When we are making momos, we chat and have a lot of fun. And they taste great

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The Taj Mahal

The Taj Mahal is an ivory-white marble mausoleum on the southern bank of the river Yamuna in the Indian city of Agar. It was commissioned in 1632 by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan (reigned from 1628 to 1658) to house the tomb of his favourite wife, Mumtaz Mahal; it also houses the tomb of Shah Jahan himself. The tomb is the centrepiece of a 17-hectare (42-acre) complex, which includes a mosque and a guest house, and is set in formal gardens bounded on three sides by a crenellated wall.

The Taj Mahal construction of the mausoleum was essentially completed in 1643, but work continued on other phases of the project for another 10 years. The Taj Mahal complex is believed to have been completed in its entirety in 1653 at a cost estimated at the time to be around 32 million rupees, which in 2020 would be approximately 70 billion rupees (about the U.S $956 million). The construction project employed some 20,000 artisans under the guidance of a board of architects led by the court architect to the emperor, Ustad Ahmad Lahori

Source-Wikipedia

The Taj Mahal was designated as a UNESCO Heritage Sites in 1983 for being “the jewel of Muslim art in India and one of the universally admired masterpieces of the world’s heritage”. It is regarded by many as the best example of Mughal architecture and a symbol of India’s rich history. The Taj Mahal attracts 7–8 million visitors a year and in 2007, it was declared a winner of the New 7 Wonders of the World (2000–2007) initiative.

Inspiration

The Taj Mahal was commissioned by Shah Jahan in 1631, to be built in the memory of his wife Mumtaz Mahal, who died on 17 June that year, while giving birth to their 14th child, Gauhara Begum Construction started in 1632, and the mausoleum was completed in 1648, while the surrounding buildings and garden were finished five years later. The imperial court documenting Shah Jahan’s grief after the death of Mumtaz Mahal illustrates the love story held as the inspiration for the Taj Maha.

Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal

Shah Jahan                                                 Mumtaz Mahal

Architecture and design

The Taj Mahal incorporates and expands on design traditions of Persian and earlier Mughal architecture. Specific inspiration came from successful Timurid and Mughal buildings including the Gur-e Amir(the tomb of Timur, a progenitor of the Mughal dynasty, in Samarkand), Humayun’s Tomb which inspired the Charbagh gardens and has-best (architecture) plan of the site, Itmad-Ud Daulah’s Tomb (sometimes called the Baby Taj), and Shah Jahan’s own Jama Masjid in Delhi. While earlier Mughal buildings were primarily constructed of red sandstone, Shah Jahan promoted the use of white marble inlaid with a semi-precious stone. Buildings under his patronage reached new levels of refinement.

Tomb

The tomb is the central focus of the entire complex of the Taj Mahal. It is a large, white marble structure standing on a square plinth and consists of a symmetrical building with an iwan (an arch-shaped doorway) topped by a large dome and finial. Like most Mughal tombs, the basic elements are Persian in origin. The base structure is a large multi-chambered cube with chamfered corners forming an unequal eight-sided structure that is approximately 55 metres (180 ft) on each of the four long sides. Each side of the iwan is framed with a huge Pishta or vaulted archway with two similarly shaped arched balconies stacked on either side. This motif of stacked Pishtas is replicated on the chamfered corner areas, making the design completely symmetrical on all sides of the building. Four minarets frame the tomb, one at each corner of the plinth facing the chamfered corners. The main chamber houses the false sarcophagi of Mumtaz Mahal and Shah Jahan; the actual graves are at a lower level.

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Laping Tibetan Street Food

Laping is a spicy cold mung bean noodle dish in Tibetan cuisine. It is street food and is also popular in some parts of Nepal.  It can be eaten with red pepper chili, coriander, and green onion sauce. The noodles have a slippery texture and are served with a soy sauce gravy. It is traditionally a summer food. A tool is used to shape it. The laping derives from the Sichuan-style Liang fen. There are two types of laping, are yellow laping, and white laping.

laping white

laping would not traditionally be made at home. Most people in Lhasa, for example, would buy it from little stalls on the street. Tibetans outside Tibet do make this at home, as there are no laping stalls on most of our city streets.

lapping yellow

The laping requires at least 4-5 hours to set and can be prepared the night before and left to sit overnight.

Source-Tibetan Street Food

Ingredients for the Laping

  • 1 cup of potato or mung-bean starch (For the images here we used potato starch, but we’ve also made it with mung bean starch, and those noodles turn out much stiffer, which you may like, as a matter of personal taste. Mung-bean starch can be found in Korean stores and some other Asian markets.)
  • 5 cups of water.                                                                                                                   Ingredients for the Sauce
    • 7 cloves of garlic, minced
    • 1 stalk green onion, chopped
    • ¼ cup cilantro, chopped
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
    • ¼ cup of soy sauce
    • ¼ cup crushed dried red pepper (We bought this at an Asian store. If you can’t find this, you can cut up dried red pepper, or use chili powder, or a bit of chili sauce.                                                                                                                                                 

      Preparing the Clear Noodles

      Before heating, stir the starch and water together until you get an even texture.

      Heat the mixture on the stovetop to medium, stirring frequently, for 8-9 minutes, or until the mixture is so thick you can barely stir it. If the mixture is boiling before it thickens, turn down the heat until it stops boiling. When done the texture will be very thick, almost like jello, but it still needs to set.

      Transfer the cooked mixture into a clean bowl and let it sit overnight at room temperature. In order to shorten the time for cooling, it can also be placed in the refrigerator for 4-5 hours.

      After the laping has set, remove it from the bowl. It should stand up by itself, like very firm jello.

      In Tibet, people grate the laping with a very large grater, but our grater was too small and didn’t really work, so we did what many Tibetans do, and just cut the laping with a large knife into long strips.

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Dalhousie, India

Dalhousie is a beautiful hill station in Chamba district, in the northern Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. It is situated on 5 hills and has an elevation of 1,970 meters above sea level.

Dalhousie Town was named after The Earl of Dalhousie who was the British Governor-General in India while establishing this place as a summer retreat.

Dalhousie

Dalhousie has a humid subtropical climate. Late summer and early spring see torrential rainfall due to monsoonal influence. The city sees over 90 frost days per year and 20-30 snowy days.

History of Dalhousie

Dalhousie was founded during the colonial time around the 1850s by the Britishers and was named after ‘Lord Dalhousie’ who was the chief frontman of Britishers in India at that time.

It is located to the west of the Dhauladhar Peak of the Himalayas and is considered a gateway to the beautiful Chamba district, which is filled with Hindu culture, art, temples, and handiwork and was named ‘Alpine Beauty’ by the British officers.

During that time, British rule was taking over other parts of India and it became evident that it will be the same for Dalhousie as well. They started building the city by hiring poor villagers who were devoid of many basic needs of life at low wages and ill-treated them. Later, Christian missionaries came to their rescue but just for spreading their own religion and not for genuine community help

Lord Dalhousie

Khajjiar

Khajjiar is located approximately 24 kilometers (15 mi) from Dalhousie.

It sits on a small plateau with a small stream-fed lake in the middle that has been covered over with weeds. The hill station is surrounded by meadows and forests. About 2,000 meters (6,500 ft) above sea level in the foothills of the Dhauladhar ranges of the Western Himalayas and peaks can be seen in the distance. It is part of the Kalatop Khajjiar Sanctuary.

It can be reached from Dalhousie, the nearest major town and hill station, by bus in an hour or so. This is a rare combination of three ecosystems: lake, pasture, and forest.

Also is known as a Mini Switzerland. On 7 July 1992, Swiss Envoy Willy P. Blazer, Vice Counselor and Head of Chancery of Switzerland in India brought Khajjiar on the world tourism map by calling it “Mini Switzerland”

Khajjiar

source- Travel Triangle

Famous places of Dalhousie

  • Khajjiar.
  • Satdhara Falls.
  • Panchpula.
  • Kalatop Khajjiar Sanctuary.
  • Dainkund Peak.
  • Bakrota Hills.
  • Subhash Baoli.
  • Chamba.                                                                                                                                                                        Also, do visit my other post by click here

Majnu-ka-tilla

 

Majnu-ka-tilla is officially called New Aruna Nagar Colony, Chungtown, and Samyeling. It is part of North Delhi district and is located at the bank of the Yamuna River near ISBT Kashmir Gate.

The historic name of the area, literally means the hillock of Majnu, after the tilla or mound were during the reign of Sikander Lodhi (r. 1489–1517) on Delhi Sultanate, a local Iranian Sufi mystic Abdulla, nicknamed Majnu (lost in love), met Sikh Guru, (Guru Nanak DevJi) on 20 July 1505

Majnu-ka-tillaSource- IndiaTv

Tibetan settlement: 1950’s to present(Majnu-ka-tilla)

Majnu Ka Tilla area has three main residential settlements with total 3000–3500 homes,Aruna Nagar, New Aruna Nagar and Old Chandrawal village, which was built up in the early 1900s

Just as Aruna Nagar was developing, the 1959 Tibetan uprising took place in March, most residents of Majnu-ka-tilla left Tibet in 1959-60, when the Dalai Lama  too went into exile to Dharamshala. Soon, a small Tibetan refugee camp up acrosroad, on the Yamuna riverbed. Tibet refugees and is also known as Samyeling, through colloquially as “Little-Tibet” or “Mini-Tibet’.

Economy

The economy of Majnu-ka-tilla centres around hotels, guest-houses and restaurants. Another important aspect of the economy is home rentals as a large population is cramped in closely built houses, several floors high and approachable through narrow bylanes. In addition, there is a market of retail stalls, including bookshops, curio shops, metalsmiths, and a beauty parlour; internet cafes, and travel agencies.The neighbourhood is popular among foreign and domestic tourists as well as among Delhi University students.

Majnu-ka-tilla

Tourism

Over the years, (Tibetan refugee settlement) has emerged as popular destination for foreign tourists and students from North Campus Delhi University. It houses a small monastery and Buddhist temple, besides the numerous restaurants specialising in Tibetn food, curio shops selling Tibetan handicrafts and stores selling the latest fashionwear and gadgets. 

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Mcleodganj-Tibetan culture in India

Mcleodganj is also known as a little Lhasa because there are lots of Tibetan peoples. Also, there is an H.H The Dalai Lama residence and Tibetan government in exile.

McleodganjWhen China invaded Tibet in the 1950s, the Dalai Lama and several other Tibetans had to flee their native land forcefully. At that time, India offered help, and it was in Mcleodganj Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh where everyone took refuge.

Residence to The Dalai Lama, Dharamshala is also the headquarters of the Central Tibetan Administration, which is the Tibetan Government in exile.

Exploring Mcleodganj Dharamshala is a dream for any traveler. There is a sense of tranquillity in wandering through the narrow streets of the town that highlight the authenticity of the people, residing in complete harmony.

However, the true beauty of Dharamshala lies in its temples and monasteries. While several tourist attractions in the area are an absolute delight to discover, it is the omnipresent spirituality of the place that eventually steals the heart

Another reason to visit Dharamshala is for its exquisite artifacts and local markets, which are a shopper’s delight. Add to that the scenic magnificence of the surroundings, and Dharamshala is sure to touch every soul that meanders through its land.

source-Ticker Eats the World

Mcleodganj

 

The Dalai Lama Temple

McLeod Ganj, also known as Upper Dharamshala, is the official residence of The Dalai Lama. It is one of the most ‘touristy’ towns in the country. To learn more about the history of Tibet and witness its glory, you must visit the Dalai Lama Temple Complex.

Tourists from across the planet visit the heavenly Dalai Lama Temple to seek peace and wellbeing. The temple is known as ‘Tsug La Khang’ and is situated close to the official abode of His Holiness.

The Dalai Lama visits the temple frequently to conduct prayer meets, meditations, and to address disciples. If you are looking to attend any of his sessions, plan your trip according to His dates. His talks are scheduled twice or thrice a year and are open to all, free of cost.

Chanting of prayers, meditation meetings, and various religious practices are a constant here. Another major attraction is the chief prayer wheel. The wheel, plated in pure gold, is at the center of the temple.

Mcleodganj

There are also large statues reflecting Tibetan and Buddhist culture dotted across the complex. A statue of Lord Buddha, along with those of Chenrezig and Guru Rinpoche are among the prominent sculptures that are visually appealing.

To take a bit of Dharamshala back home, there are shops nearby that sell books and religious beads, among other things to visitors.

Tsung La Khang is also famous for its stunning architecture. Every nook and corner oozes elegance, with divine vibrations lingering in the air at all times.

Visitors get to see the Namgyal Monastery, and several striking temples, and a museum inside the complex. The museum acts as a reflection of Tibetan legacy with an intimate insight into their beliefs.

When planning your trip, start early in the morning to experience the serenity of the complex at its best

source-Ticker Eats the World

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