"I pray for all of us, oppressor and friend, that together we succeed in building a better world through human understanding and love, and that in doing so we may reduce the pain and suffering of all sentient beings."
- Tenzin Gyatso
14th Dalai Lama of Tibet, upon receiving the Nobel Prize for peace, December 10, 1989.
History & Culture:
Tibet, the mystic land, on the roof of the world has captured man's imagination for centuries. Tibet has a rich and unique culture including monasteries, language, art, philosophy, literature, and ceremonies. Religion, politics, and culture are intermingled in the Tibet of the present and the past.
Tibet first emerged as a distinct state over 2000 years ago. From the 7th to the 10th century AD, Tibet emerged as one of Asiaís great military powers, carving out a huge empire in Central Asia. It later renounced the use of arms - to practice the teachings of Buddhism.
Historically, Tibetís status has always been inexorably linked with the aspirations of its neighbor, China. The 20th century was no exception. In 1949, the People's Liberation Army of the Communist Peopleís Republic of China invaded Tibet. Today, Tibetan Buddhists and their exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, are celebrated for their non-violent stance in the face of Chinese occupation and dissolution of their culture. This despite estimates that more than 1.2 million Tibetans have been killed by the Chinese troops and more than 6,000 monasteries have been destroyed.
For more on Tibetan history, click here.
For more on Tibetan culture, click here.
Size - 2.5 million sq. km.
Capital - Lhasa
Population - 6 million Tibetans and an estimated 7.5 million Chinese.
Language - Tibetan (of the Tibeto-Burmese language family). The official language is Chinese.
Staple Food - Tsampa (roasted barley flour)
National Drink - Salted butter tea
Average Altitude - 14,000 ft.
Highest Mountain - Chomolungma (Mt. Everest) 29, 028 ft.
Average Temperature - July 58F, January 24F
Major Rivers - Mekong, Yangtse, Salween, Tsangpo, Yellow
Economy - Tibetans: predominantly agriculture and animal husbandry. Chinese: predominantly in government, commerce and the service sector.
Provinces - U-Tsang (Central Tibet), Amdo (N.E. Tibet), Kham (S.E. Tibet)
Borders - India, Nepal, Bhutan, Burma, China
National Flag - Snow lions with red and blue rays. Outlawed in Tibet.
Political and Religious Leader - The 14th Dalai Lama. Exiled in Dharamsala, India.
Government in Exile - Parliamentary
Government - Communist
Legal Status - Occupied