Colorful Traditional Culture of Tibetan People Ⅱ

(b.f."Colorful Traditional Culture of Tibetan People Ⅰ")

Tibetan medicine has a long history. Doctors of this school of medicine pay great attention to practical skills. They diagnose illnesses by observation, auscultation, smelling, interrogation and pulse feeling. They also know how to collect medicinal herbs and prepare drugs and are skilled in acupuncture, moxibustion and surgery. Tibetan doctors are especially outstanding in veterinary medicine.


The Tibetans have their own calendar. They designate the years by using the five elements (metal, wood, water, fire and earth), yin and yang, and the 12 animals representing the 12 Earthly Branches. A year is divided into four seasons and 12 months; which have 29 or 30 days.

The technique of Tibetan sculpture is superb. The portraits of the Grand Living Buddhas are the very images of the persons depicted. Tibetan painting features fine lines, well-knitted composition, vivid expressions of figures and bright colors. Tibetan architecture is unique in style, with buildings neatly arranged or rising like magnificent towers and castles. The Potala Palace in Lhasa was built on the sunny side of a mountain slope. With golden roofs and white-washed walls, the building rises naturally with the slope, looking extremely imposing. It is a masterpiece of Tibetan architecture.

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Maxims and proverbs are very popular among the Tibetans. The metaphors are lively and pregnant with meaning. Tibetans are also good dancers and singers. Their songs and music are well-modulated in tone and the words fit well with the tunes. They often dance while they sing. Their dancing is beautiful with movements executed either with the arms and waist or with legs and feet, and the tap dance is most typically Tibetan. Most of the musical instruments were introduced from the interior of China. Long-handled drums and trumpets are the main musical instruments used by the lamas.

They can depict natural sounds, the cries of animals and the singing of birds that can be heard at a great distance. Religious dances are often performed by people wearing masks of deities, humans or animals. The Tibetan opera is one of the famous opera forms in China. It is performed without curtain or stage. In the past, all performers were men. Wearing masks, they danced and sang to the accompaniment of musical instruments. Sometimes the orchestra would chime in with the singers, creating a lively atmosphere.

There are many taboos and activities that bear a strong mark of religion. Buddhists are forbidden to kill. Many wild animals, including fish, field vole, Mongolian gazelle and vulture, are under protection. The Tibetans, rich or poor, all have family niches for keeping Buddha statues. Most people wear a metal amulet box, about the size of a cigarette case, on the breast, and turn prayer wheels. It is forbidden to turn prayer wheels counter-clockwise and stride over ritual objects and braziers.

The Tibetan New Year is the most important festival in Tibet. People in their holiday best extend greetings to each other and go to the monasteries to receive blessings. On the 15th day of the first moon, all major monasteries hold religious rites and all families light up butter lamps when night falls. It is also the occasion for lamas in the Ta'er (Ghumbum) monastery in Qinghai and the Qoikang monastery in Lhasa to display their exquisite and beautifully decorated butter carvings.



All pictures are from network.


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