CHARM­ING ISO­LA­TION

HOS­PI­TAL­ITY AND HOLIS­TIC SPIR­I­TU­AL­ITY ARE HALL­MARKS OF TI­BETAN CUL­TURE

Hong Kong Tatler - - Checking In -

NES­TLED HIGH IN THE HI­MALAYAS, THE RE­MOTE MOUN­TAIN SO­CI­ETY OF TI­BET IS A HAVEN OF SPIR­I­TU­AL­ITY WITH A UNIQUE FORM OF BUD­DHISM AT ITS HEART. IN­FLU­ENCED BY IN­DIGE­NOUS SHAMAN­IS­TIC CUL­TURE, TI­BETAN BUD­DHISM HAS PER­ME­ATED DAILY LIFE AND IN­FUSED POL­I­TICS, MU­SIC, ART AND LIT­ER­A­TURE SINCE THE 7TH CEN­TURY. FOR GEN­ER­A­TIONS THE RE­GION’S SPIR­I­TUAL LEADER, THE DALAI LAMA, ALSO SERVED AS TI­BET’S RULER, ALTHOUGH THE CUR­RENT DALAI LAMA FLED TI­BET WHEN CHINA TOOK CON­TROL IN 1959 AND RE­LIN­QUISHED PO­LIT­I­CAL AU­THOR­ITY OVER THE GOV­ERN­MENT-IN-EX­ILE IN 2011.

FOR CEN­TURIES, TI­BETANS HAVE LIVED NO­MAD­I­CALLY, RAIS­ING HERDS OF GOATS AND YAK ON THE HARSH, HIGH­ALTI­TUDE PLATEAU. YO­GHURT, BUT­TER AND CHEESE ARE LO­CAL SPE­CIAL­TIES, AS ARE MO­MOS (BAR­LEY FLOUR DUMPLINGS FILLED WITH MEAT OR VEGETABLES), AND SPICY STEWS WITH MEAT AND POTA­TOES. TI­BETANS ARE RENOWNED FOR THEIR WARMTH AND HOS­PI­TAL­ITY, AND IT’S COMMON FOR FAM­I­LIES TO IN­VITE GUESTS INTO THEIR HOMES.

WHILE ITS ISO­LA­TION AND EX­TREME GE­OG­RA­PHY HAVE FOS­TERED A SIM­PLE LIFE­STYLE, THERE IS NO SHORT­AGE OF LO­CAL COLOUR. ASIDE FROM TI­BETANS’ ELAB­O­RATE, BRIGHTLY COLOURED TRA­DI­TIONAL DRESS, FOLK SONGS, DANCE FES­TI­VALS AND CER­E­MONIES ARE A VI­BRANT PART OF EVERY­DAY LIFE. EX­QUIS­ITE AN­CIENT MONAS­TER­IES PEP­PER THE RE­GION, WITH YUMBULAGANG, KEY GOMPA AND GAN­DEN DEF­I­NITE HIGH­LIGHTS.

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