A Bowl For Your Bosom

An old Tibetan folk song likens a lady lover to a wooden bowl. It may not sound romantic, but traditionally Tibetan people owned one bowl for life, and they would take this bowl with them wherever they went, "in their bosom", as the song goes. The Tibetans are a nomadic people, and their traditional dress is designed to hold all kinds of useful objects. A Tibetan nomad will produce his or her bowl, handkerchief, wallet, even a baby from these amazing robes without the slightest hint that anything was hidden in there at all. The bowl is the most useful object of all. It will be used many times a day to provide hot butter tea, the essential warmer at high altitude. Tibetan people claim that bu

Tibet Is Way Ahead Of The UK

On a recent trip to Tibet we were amazed at how little cash is used in this apparently remote part of the world. Back in the day no other form of payment existed here, even when huge sums were involved. Today it is not the bank card that has forced cash out, but WeChat, a messaging, social media and mobile payment app that has transformed the financial landscape of China and beyond. Even in Tibet's vegetable markets, where often little more than a pound may be spent at a time, cash scarcely changes hands: WeChat, with its multiple payment methods, ranging from QR code payments to in-app and in-app web-based payments, make simple transactions super fast. In London's Camden Market, where Chine

Table Manners In Tibet

Our kids have been brought up in England so far, but when we ask them if they feel British or Tibetan (strictly speaking they are 50/50), usually they say that they are Tibetan. A lot of it comes down to food. Since dad is the chef in our house, and dad is Tibetan, the kids eat a lot of Tibetan food. They know the food by its name in Tibetan, and they also eat it Tibetan style - which is to say that momos are eaten by hand, and bowls are licked clean once you're done. Hang on a minute, bowls are licked clean when you're done? Chef won't like me saying that. That's a trick that they use in his home, but Yeshi is at pains to point out that this is not what Tibetans do per se. There are a lot o

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