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Tibet Etiquettes and Taboos

Tibet has its own religion and they are very sacred to the people. So, the ways of behavior are really different from inland. Before you going Lhasa, it is better to get some knowledge of the etiquettes and taboos and respect the local customs and be polite.

Etiquettes and Taboos in Daily Life

1. Don't put your arms around someone's shoulders.

2. Don't harm animals wearing red, yello wor green cloth.

3. Don't step on the threshold of Tibetan homes.

4. Don't spit in front of people.

5. Don't throw garbage into a fire.

6. Calling somebody in name please add "la" behind the name to express respects.

7. If you are asked to sit down, please cross your legs, do not stretch your legs forward and face your sole to others.

8. You should accept the gift with both hands. While presenting the gift you should bend your body forward and hold the gift higher than your head with both hands. While offering tea, wine or cigarette, you should offer them by both hands and any fingers do not touch inside of the bowl.

9. When the host presents you a cup of wine, you should dip your ring finger in the wine and flick the wine into the sky, in the air and to the ground respectively to express your respects to the heaven, the earth and the ancestors before sipping the wine. The host will fill the cup, and you take a sip of the wine again. After the host fills your cup again, you have to bottom it up.

10. Tibetan people do not eat horse, dog and donkey meat and also do not eat fish in some areas, so please respect their diet habits.

11. It is not polite to clap your palms and spit behind the Tibetan people.

12. Tibetan people stretch out their tongue to say hello to you. Also it is a courtesy to put their hands palm in front of breast.

Lhasa Etiquettes and Taboos

Etiquettes and Taboos in Religion

1. Never touch the head of a Tibetan, the head is considered a sacred part of the body.

2. Show proper respect in the temples, don't wear noisy shoes, drink alcohol, smoke or make unnecessary noise.

3. When visiting a temple, follow the pilgrims and circle the temple clockwise, never counter-clockwise.

4. Don't be intrusive during religious ceremonies, this means be respectful when taking photos.

5. Do not touch, walk over or sit on any religious texts, objects or prayer flags in monasteries.

6. Do not smoke in monasteries. Also it is banned to touch the statue of Buddha and religious articles and take pictures of them. In addition, all should walk clockwise (not in the Bon temples).

7. When meeting a lama, it is not appropriate to hug him or shake hands with him. The proper way is to hold the two hands upright, palms together in front of the chest, and lower the head.

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