Tibetan Culture

Last updated by meimeili at 2013-12-31

Tibetan Culture is one of the most beautiful cultures in the world in every sense; art in general, painting, architecture, philosophy, psychology, and crafts ... Tibet is not only rich in its beautiful landscapes but also in culture.

Emerged to a particular historic period, the native Tibetan culture is indivisible from the religion, so constituting a form of popular and ethnic cultural art; its shaping goes back to a millennium, at the time of Tubo and Shangshun Kingdoms.
Buddhism has exercised a particularly strong power on Tibetan culture since its introduction in the 7th Century. Art, literature, and music all contain elements of Buddhist religion, and Buddhism itself has adopted a unique form in Tibet.

Tibetan culture was influenced by numerous factors. Its particular geographic and climactic conditions (altitude, short growing season, and cold weather) have encouraged reliance on animal husbandry, as well as the development of its own unique cuisine, which is quite different from nearby regions.

Tibetans wear very conservative and traditional clothing. With the development of Tibet and the new fashion ideas streaming in from the rest of the world, long-established adornment is becoming rarer in major city centres, but is still normal in more isolated areas.

The Chinese government constantly granted the deepest consideration on the protection and the development of the popular and ethnic Tibetan culture. From the 80s, the autonomous region’s government attempted to highlight in a scientific mode the greatest of its tradition and to protect its integrity addressing many specialists to save this invaluable cultural heritage.

Tibetan culture developed under the contact with neighbouring countries and cultures including Nepal and India; it expands amalgamating progressively the quintessence of other Chinese and world cultures to enrich it. .A plethora of works as novels, essay, and theatre, paintings, sculptures, pictures and movies actually spread out. Remote and inaccessible Himalayan regions have on the other hand preserved distinct local influences.

Singing and dancing shows or Tibetan opera as well as exhibitions of cultural vestiges, paintings, sculptures and pictures often take place in the various provinces of China and all over the world. Renowned artists and personalities of the cultural Chinese and foreign circles  were more than impressed by the artistic style and the quality of Tibetan culture because this one testifies of a big novelty; at the same time ethnic and opened to the world;  traditional and also modern toned by the diversity of its themes.

Tibet autonomous region possesses troops of professional and amateur artists, houses dedicated to representations, a professional art school and an office of artistic research; besides units of film protection form a network of movies distribution and projection in cities and campaigns. The building of Tibet autonomous region’s library is finished while the future museum is under construction.

The writers and artists association gathers specialists of various sectors of literature and art and has under its administration Tibetan subsidiaries of writers, playwrights, dancers, popular artists, quyi actors, photographers and calligraphers. A translator conglomerate, a folk culture corporation and a Contemporary Tibetan Culture Research Firm have been created.

Old books and historic documents: Before the 60s, no investigation, restoration, edition work or historic research for historic documents and old books in Tibetan or Han language had been made in a methodical way. Many books disappeared or moved out abroad.

In 1985, Tibet Academy of Social Sciences shaped an old book publishing house in Tibetan language, as well as an editorial staff office for documents in Han language for Tibet study. These two organizations have precisely for mission to bring together, restore, draft, and edit historic documents in Tibetan and Han language. Until now, a lot of books were revised and published.  A large number of them are singular even unique.

Archaeological excavations: All the relics of the Stone Age in Tibet were discovered after1951. Among the relics of Neolithic Period that have been discovered, there are Karub of Qamdo, Yunsing, Hongkung, Jumu and Gyarama of Nyingchi County, Baibung and Marniyong of Medog County, Qukong of eastern Lhasa and Qinba and Ngariza of Nedong County. Among these, only the relics in Karub have been scientifically excavated and classified.

Protection of cultural relics: At the end of the 50s till the beginning of the 60s, Tibet local authorities entrusted to a cultural heritage commission the care of a systematic survey of cultural vestiges, edifices and old graves, stone steles and engravings.

Later, a special cultural management section was set up. More than ten thousand cultural relics gradually collected were sorted out and inventoried to protect them at the best. Among these collections,  invaluable Buddhist miniatures, the precious Thangka picture of a Buddha inlaid with pearls and gems in the monastery of Changzhug, the decrees of the central government under various dynasties used to award dignitaries' titles to the Tibetan state employees, as well as the imperial Edict, the golden seal and the plate carrying  the calligraphy of the Emperor.

Besides uncountable precious stones, jades and objects of common usage which the Emperor offered to the Tibetan Lords, reports, letters and papers which the Tibetan government presented to the central government, as well as multiple inscriptions written in a decorative hand on stone or on metal …

To care for these invaluable relics, the Chinese government classified, in 1961, 1982 and 1988, historic monuments and cultural sites of Tibet autonomous region among the most important cultural sites placed under State protection. On its side, the government of the region placed significant cultural sites under the protection of the autonomous region.

At present, the main monuments and historic sites, after restoration, welcomes the Chinese and foreign visitors. Places of worship are opened to the pilgrims from the beginning to the end of the year. The Tibet protection office of cultural relics was invited to organize exhibitions of Tibet antiques in most of countries and regions of Asia, Europe and America.

Tibetology: The scientific study of Tibetan culture is a part of exceptional research programs which are taking place in China and in the world. At the moment, in Tibet and elsewhere about fifty institutions of Tibetan culture research were created.

A China Tibetology Research Centre is born in Beijing in 1986.All these institutions are responsible for a large number of research projects concerning very diverse subjects: the strategy of social and economic development of Tibet, the writing of a handbook of general history, the study of Sanskrit sutras, the study of the origins of the religion and the classification of the religious Tibet sects, etc.
In the autonomous region itself, a large-scale investigation, made over twenty years, from the 50s until the 70s, allowed to accumulate a rich documentary compilation.

The research touches practically all domains: political, economic, ethnic, historic, religious, philosophic, linguistic, literary and artistic, geographical, educational, legislative, mathematical, archaeological, folk, medical and pharmacological, the study of the esoteric sects, the qigong, the art craft techniques, etc.

Scientific theories had been published and specialized scientific works were published; meditative texts are translated and published.

Cultural exchanges with foreign countries: from the 80s onwards, Tibet autonomous region intensified the cultural exchanges with foreign countries, through researchers' visits, books and information exchange, organization of diverse forms of artistic activity and colloquiums, so strengthening the cooperation with the cultural circles, the foreign establishments of scientific research and the international organizations.

Thanks to the association of cultural exchanges with foreign singers, dancers and Tibetan Opera troops went to give representations in a lot of countries: the United States, Canada, Great Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Austria, Switzerland, Netherlands, Nepal, Singapore, Hong-Kong, Macao and Taiwan.

Antiques, photos and paintings exhibitions, as well as film festivals were organized in Japan, Italy and in countries and regions of Southeast Asia.
Researchers and specialists of the cultural religious circles of Tibet were invited to participate in conferences and to make scientific information exchanges in Austria, France, Thailand, Norway and Sri Lanka.

To develop study, Tibet concluded with the scientific organizations of Hungary, Canada, Germany, Italy, Austria, and other countries, agreements of cooperation, cultural and scientific exchanges, and welcomed specialists of countries and regions who had come visit the Tibet and discuss these projects of scientific cooperation.

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