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A hundred Customs and Traditions of Tibetan People puts together everyday beliefs practices observance and mannerisms of living life enriched by thousand of years of spiritual consciousness. Though it is hard to condense the rich customs and traditional of Tibet into one topic, the author has tried to provide a clear insight into it. From ceremonial rites, auspicious days and symbols to everyday beliefs Tibetan opera and various kinds if dance forms to the five schools of Tibetan Buddhism. The tradition of naming a newborn to marriage customs and finally to the funeral rites the author covers major aspect of Tibetan customs and tradition in a nutshell.
A hundred Customs and Traditions of Tibetan People give a clear overview of some of the unique customs and traditions of the Tibetan people. Originally written by Sagong Wangdu this work has been carefully translated into English by Tenzin Tsepak. On the 50th anniversary of the Tibetan people's uprising and exodus into exile. The Library of Tibetan works and Archives is delighted to publish this text. It aims to benefit Tibetan youth and English speaking readers from around the world in further understanding various aspects of Tibetan customs and traditions.
We hope this publication will make its small contribution to the Library's continued efforts towards preservation dissemination and continuation of the rich culture of Tibet which unfortunately is at the verge of extinction in Tibet itself.
A hundred customs and traditions of Tibetan people is a translation of a book compiled and written by Sagong Wangdu and published by the people's publishing house in 2003. The book is intended to help foreigners and young Tibetan guides in negotiating the terrain of Tibetan culturalscape. The author claims the book to be free from his authorial judgments and an exact representation of the customs and traditions of Tibetan people as they exist in their lifestyle.
The English translation is made available with the dual purpose of enabling English-speaking people to understand and explore customs and traditions of the Tibetan people and also to serve as a brief introduction to the diasporic Tibetan youth. The book offers a brief and cleat insight into the customs and traditions of Tibetan people such as smearing a black mark on babies the funeral rites for the deceased decorating a green barely sprout and a sheep's head on Tibetan New Year performing Tibetan operas the five schools of Tibetan Buddhism festivals of Tibet and so forth. Tibetan customs and traditions are deeply related the nomadic and agricultural lifestyle of the Tibetan people with the Bon religion and Buddhism at its core.
Each chapter in this book unfolds with a drawing that attempts to delineate the idea of the section. Wherever the titles of various books quoted in this text appear they are italicized. Unfamiliar Tibetan terms are explained in footnotes where possible. Except for common Tibetan names diacritics are used and other Tibetan terms are italicized and written in Wylie transliteration lest the phonetics might lead to incorrect orthography. The English translation is rendered in simple register considering that the majority of the readers would be unacquainted with Tibetan customs and traditions. I have tried to maintain fidelity to the text and fluency of the translation though I cannot claim this work to be a literal translation. During the course of my translation in the event of difficulty in understanding the Tibetan text I sought help from elderly Tibetan who are the only bearers of Tibet's rich customs and traditions.
His holiness the Dalai Lama describes Tibetan culture as a compassionate and peaceful culture which could soon become extinct. Tibetan inside Tibet and the Diaspora Tibetan community are both confronted with the challenge to maintain their distinct identity in the face of strong mainstream assimilative pressures. In the case of exile Tibetans this process is exacerbated as the land and environment that gave birth to such customs and traditions are bifurcated for how will the Tibetan resist is a matter of will.
Lastly the book in your hand owes its existence to our director Geshe Lhakdor who took great pains in verifying the English translation with the original Tibetan text. My thanks also go to Gyen Sangye Tendar, Ju tenkyong, Wangdu Tsering la Tsewang Bhuti and Dr. Chok Monalm for helping me by sharing their knowledge in the course of my translation. I thank my parents for their unstinting polishing the first four chapters and Akers Deborah from to United States for editing the remaining text. I also thank our house editor Katrina Moxey for proofreading the final draft if there are any mistakes they are entirely my own.
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