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Home >> Tibet Travel Tips >> Tibetan Taboos

Tibetan Taboos

Tibetan Taboos1. When they receive guests, no matter walking or talking, the Tibetans always ask the guests or the aged to be the first and use respectful remarks, for example, they add ¡°la¡± after names to show respect and closeness. They abstain from call others¡¯ names straightly. When they welcome and see off guests, they stoop with smiles on their faces. Inside the house, they have to sit cross-legged, and they should not straighten their legs and put soles of feet towards guests. They cannot glance this way and that. When receiving gifts, they use both hands. When presenting gifts, they bend down and raise the gifts above head with both hands. When proposing tea, toast and cigarette to guests, they present it with both hands and fingers cannot be put into the bowl.

2. The Tibetans abstain from killing living things. It is the biggest taboo of theirs. Buddhists are regulated strictly in this aspect. They are allowed to eat mutton and beef, but they don¡¯t slaughter animals by themselves. The Tibetans absolutely abstain from eating donkey meat, horse meat and dog meat. The Tibetans in some areas don¡¯t eat fish.

3. When having meals, they cannot fill food mouthfully and make a sound.

4. When drinking the buttered tea, the guest cannot accept it and drink until the host presents the buttered tea with both hands to him.

5. The Tibetans avoid spitting and clipping hands after one¡¯s back as a taboo.

6. When seeing monasteries, mani stacks and stupas, people should turn from left to right. The people believing in the Bon Religion turn from right to left. People should not step over braziers and musical instruments.

7. The prayer bucket and prayer wheel cannot be turned in a counterclockwise direction.

8. The Tibetans don¡¯t allow the others to touch tops of their heads.

religion Taboo to be known when taking Lhasa tour or Tibet tours9. After entering monasteries, the Tibetans abstain from smoking, touching Buddhist statues, thumbing through Buddhist scripture and beating bell and drum. People cannot touch the lucky charms and beads lamas wear with themselves. Insides monasteries, people must keep quiet. When sitting, people must guard against sitting the living Buddha¡¯s seat. And they avoid as a taboo making an up-roar, hunting and killing living things near monasteries.

10. The Tibetans abstain from receiving and handing over articles with single hand. When the host pour tea, the guest should raise the tea bowl with both hands and bend forward to show respect to the host.

11. The Tibetans abstain from stool and urine in the places where horses and cattles are tied and the sheep are enclosed.

12. The Tibetans abstain from using paper with Tibetan language to wipe things and to be as tissue.

13. After guests enter into the tents of the Tibetans, men should sit on the left and women on the right. Men and women cannot sit together.

14. The Tibetans abstain from throwing bones into fires.

15. In ancient times, the Tibetans put a mark in front of doors when their family fell sick or women gave birth to babies, for example, some persons lit fires outsides the doors and some persons inserted tree branches into doors or pasted a piece of red cloth on doors. The outsiders must guard against entering when they see such marks.

16. The Tibetans don¡¯t usually eat fish, shrimp, chicken and egg. When having a meal with them, don¡¯t force them to have such food. Their dietary habit is changed a lot at present.

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