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Tibetan Social Etiquette

Time:01-08-2019 This Article is Composed by BudgetTibetTour

Being a land of ceremony and propriety, China has advocated ceremony and etiquette civilization since ancient times. As a member of the big family of Chinese, Tibetan who lives at the source of rivers and mountains is an ethnic group which stresses ceremony and etiquette.

Presenting Khadas

Presenting Khadas, one of the most practised etiquette is to express honesty, loyalty and sincerity. Khadas are usually offered on the occasions of greetings to the guests, a wedding ceremony, baby-born, birthday, moving to a new house, festivals, funerals, visiting seniors, pilgrimages and farewells. Khada is usually made of raw silk, and is woven loosely.

A Khada represents different meanings on different occasions. To present khadas in greeting guests means sincerely and warmly welcome. Tibetan presents Khadas to each other to celebrate a happy festival and life. In wedding ceremony, presenting khadas means blessing the new married couples live happily together forever. To present khadas in sending one off means wishing a safe journey. In funeral ceremony, presenting khadas means mourning the died person and consoling the family members.

Generally speaking, people who present khada should hold it with both hands,, and rise high as one’s shoulder then stretch hands evenly, and bow to present it to the receiver. At this moment, khada is held as high as one’s head, which means a respect and paramount blessings, wish all the best to who receives it. The receiver, in a polite gesture, accepts it with both hands holding evenly.

Presenting Khadas

Presentation of Gifts

Tibetan greatly values presenting gifts that must be presented on the occasions of festivals or ceremonies. The receivers often send gifts in return for the presentation, which are usually more than given ones in numbers. Otherwise, it is regarded as a breach of etiquette.

Etiquette Between the Senior and the Junior

Tibetan values most about the etiquette between the senior and the junior. Respecting the elderly and caring for the young is a valuable tradition of Tibetan since ancient time.

No matter in the family or on any social occasion, one should strictly follow the rule of senior priority that the senior walks first, be seated first and in a high seat, talks first, eats and drinks first.

The junior must completely follow the senior’s words. As an ancient proverb goes that the senior’s teaching is more valuable than gold.

It is necessary for the junior to talk in a respect tongue with the senior, and can’t call their names directly. When a senior is going to talk to a junior, in no where, the junior shouldn’t pretend to avoid it but reply to one patiently, can not even lie.

As the senior come to one’s family, all family members need to stand on till the senior is seated.

Etiquette in Meeting with Guests

Tibetan are quite hospitable even a stranger who have required can be treated with tea, drinks and Zanba. A host will walk out to greet guests, with a bow and both hands at the same level, to welcome when guests arrive. And the host keeps standing by till they get into the house. Family members stand up to wait all the guests seat as men at left and women right. The host will take out the finest beverage cup, and fill it with tea or drink. Guests are not allowed to hold up the cups and drink right way, but should dip the ring finger into the drink and flick it up three times before drinking.

As a guest presents gifts to a host, he or she receives them politely with both hands.

Presentation of gifts is quite particular, too. Family members stand up as guests are leaving. Gifts presented by a host are usually not taken away by guests.

Seeing off a guest with different etiquettes has several ways, one day of accompanying is the top ediquette. The second is seeing off to out of sights. The third is sending guests to gate or outside of the gate.

Etiquettes in Meeting with Guests

Oath of Tibet

To seriously take an oath is a tradition of Tibetan. Swear has two kinds, one is to swear by words, another one is to swear by hands. To take an oath by words is to make oath orally and to take an oath by hands it to make the oath by using gestures or objects. In Tibet, people usually swear when they make friends, demonstrate the innocence, decide to keep secret, meditate disputes and confide in a belief. Oral oath generally is that “Gong jue song” means the swear is made under the fame of Triratna.

Travelers' Questions Might Help

The questions raised by our past customers can help you get a more clear picture about tours to Tibet, read them or tell us your own questions please contract us, our specialists will reply you within 24 hours.

Ms. Ho*** from: When to get my Tibet permit
January 15, 2020 05:11

Hello, we are considering to travel in Tibet in summer. We are a family of 5, two adults and three kids, age 13(then), 10, 8. We are interested in the 10 days Mt. EBC & Namtso Lake Group tour. We are US citizens with valid 10-year Chinese multiple entry visa, which we have applied when we went to Beijing in 2019. We are currently living in South Korea.  


1. Are kids suitable (or even allowed) for this tour?  

2. If kids can join, are there any discount deals for kids?

Answered by Helen
January 15, 2020 07:54

Dear Ms. Ho***,

    Greetings from Helen at Budget Tibet Tour and welcome you to join our 10 days Mt. Everest & Namtso Lake group tour. For your questions: 1. Your kids are suitable for this tour. Travelling in Tibet is as safe for kids as it is for their parents. While the high Tibetan plateau may be the highest place on the planet, very often, the kids that visit this region are more adaptable and have fewer problems than their parents. We also have arranged wonderful Tibet tours for many families with kids such as a tour to EBC for a family with a 3-year-old son, a 9-year-old girl and a 11-year-old boy, they did have fun in Tibet and there is no problem for them. Or you can take some medicine under the guidance of doctor to prevent high altitude before enter Tibet. 2. If kids travel with you, we'll offer some discount for them, please check your email and find more detailed information. Thanks & Regards

Email to Helen about any question or tell us your own questions via the form on the right side

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