Food Shopping In Tibet

There were no shops in the village where I grew up in eastern Tibet. There is a small store there now. My family say that the upshot of this is that young people no longer eat so healthily. They say that the kids have become used to, even addicted to Chinese junk food. And that they are becoming fussy eaters, turning their noses up at the food that village people have been preparing and enjoying for generations. There were no shops in my village because at home we grow all the vegetables, fruit, nuts, grains etc. that we need. We also rear our own livestock. What we cannot provide for ourselves we swap with friends and relatives from other villages. Probably the only thing that we have ever

Valentine's Day, Tibetan Style

Photo credit: @tibetanportraits Valentine's Day has yet to make inroads in Tibet. Perhaps there are whispers of it now in the big cities, but it is hard to imagine it being a thing in rural areas. How then does love work in Tibet? Well, the mountains provide ample opportunity for girls and boys to meet secretly while herding animals, or there's always a chance to steal time when a girl is sent to the mill to grind flour... But don't hold hands or kiss in public! Keep that behind closed doors please. Singing (men on one side, women on the other) also sets the stage for a courtship. The men in particular often go to great efforts to dress up, paying a lot of attention to their hair and their j

Happy Tibetan New Year Of The Pig!

Happy Tibetan new year! Today is Losar, or Tibetan new year, the most celebrated event in the Tibetan calendar. This year we are bringing in the new year of the pig. The story goes that just before the Buddha achieved enlightenment he wished to bless all the animals who had helped him along his successful journey, but that only twelve animals heeded his call. It is said that the Buddha named each zodiac cycle after the order in which the animals arrived. The pig was said to be the last animal to arrive because it had got hungry along the way. It stopped to eat and then fell asleep, and this is how the pig gained its reputation for being lazy. In fact, Tibetan people consider the pig year to

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