How did the history of Tibet impact its culture? Tibetan Buddhism formed the most significant part of Tibetan culture. There were three important periods of Tibet history that formulated Tibet’s religion based culture.
These political marriages brought significant changes to
Tibet. This is because Buddhism was initially spread form
the princesses to Tibet.
1.Initial introduction of Buddhism
The initial introduction of Buddhism shaped the core of Tibet culture which was its religion. 1.Initial introduction of Buddhism
Buddhist statues ,texts ,temples were all spread to Tibet. The famous Jokhang Monastery( Da Zhao Si ) was built by Princess Wencheng Da Zhao Si Princess Wencheng 1.Initial introduction of Buddhism
Buddhism initially was the religion of the King Songtsan Gambo and his wives. It was passed to his later successors and gradually grew form a royal religion to a state religion. Buddhism originated form 7th century continued its development with local characteristics and became today’s Tibetan Buddhism. (Thrangu Vajrayana Buddhist Centre, 2006) 1.Initial introduction of Buddhism
2.Combination of religion and politics According to China Association for Preservation and Development of Tibetan Culture (2008), Started from Ming dynasty (1445), Dalai Lama became a prestigious title. The one who gained this title was regarded as “living Buddhist” and was the most influential spiritual leader in the Tibet religion.
In Qing dynasty, Dalai Lama the 7th started to gain political power form the central government of Qing. Dalai Lama then became a position to help the central government to rule Tibet. Combination of religion and politics was then formed. Dalai Lama used his existing religious influence to rule Tibet and secure stability and peace there. 2.Combination of religion and politics
This was very successful because nearly all Tibetan believed in Tibetan Buddhism. Therefore It was very easy to make all Tibetan to comply with Dalai Lama’s rule. 2.Combination of religion and politics
This form of political rule became a significant part of Tibetan culture. It further strengthened the position of Tibetan Buddhism as the core of Tibetan culture. Dalai Lama 7th Potala Palace: Center of administration 2.Combination of religion and politics
3. The PRC conquest of Tibet Since 1950s, The People’s of Republic China(PRC) conquered Tibet, and the polices of PRC shifted its culture 1.Negative approaches by PRC to weaken Tibetan culture Concerns of the PRC: (Hui ,2008) a)Combination of religion and politics was the main sector in Tibetan culture in which Dalai Lama enjoyed great political power in Tibet.
The PRC adopts different negative approaches to attack Dalai Lama and Tibetan religion in order to maintain stable control over Tibet and check its independence. b) Tibetan culture is much different from the one of the main ethnic (Han) in China. 3. The PRC conquest of Tibet
For instance: -Forcing the monks to insult and criticize their leader (Dalai Lama) (Ming Pao, 2009) -continued condemnation of Dalai Lama for disturbing peace, creating riots in Tibet (Wen wei pao,2008) -Stationing working teams in the temples to monitor the monks (Ming Pao, 2009) Tibetan religion was challenged by the attacks from the PRC. The culture was facing serious crush form the central government 3. The PRC conquest of Tibet
2. Beneficial polices from PRC In order to strengthen its rule in Tibet, PRC adopted different beneficial polices to provide material assistance to Tibet. (Hui ,2008) For the passing 50 years, 100 billions RMB have been invested in Tibet. (Ming Pao, 2009) - improve the economy of Tibet by allowing foreign investment, opening various shops ,and boosting tourism industries in Tibet.
The original religious based culture which is seeking spiritual fulfillment in Tibet started to shift to a culture which emphasized material interests. 2. Beneficial polices from PRC
Impact on Individuals 1.Values and attitude: Combination of religion and politics: 1.Highly compliable to spiritual leaders (Dalai Lama) compliable manner, seldom have any conflicts or disagreement
Religion: 2. respect lives 3.Harmonious coexistence with the nature (believed the nature connects to the Buddhists) Impact on Individuals
The whole society was following the beliefs of Tibetan Buddhism
-concern Pilgrimage as the ultimate goal -Religious Celibacy to concentrate on pursuing spiritual fulfillment and reduce desire (His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet,2008) Tibetan Buddhism was the mainstream of Tibet, determining the values of whole society Impact on Society
2.Social stratification: -Dalai Lama is the spiritual as well as the most influential leader of Tibet -Lama enjoyed the superior position in Tibet High power distance: -Very difficult to reach the position of Dalai Lama (decided not by personal achievement, but fate) Impact on Society
3.Masculinity -Female’s status in Tibet is far lower than men According to His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet(2008): -They are not allowed to become Lama, which enjoy higher position -Women rights are neglected -Women are not considered to have the ability to pursue higher level understanding of Tibetan Buddhism Impact on Society
-Unique customs and habits that cannot be found anywhere else
e.g. Sky burial is a unique way of funeral in Tibet.
Tour operator can capture the unique culture of Tibet, promote this special destination image to tourists.
Eg. Access Tibet Tour
Tibet Travel & Tour (P) LTD.
2.Provide service to Tibetan Eg. Pilgrimage -Tibetan make Pilgrimages at least once in their lives. They will leave their home town to Lhasa for worshipping. This activity will last for a month. -Hospitality industry have chances providing accommodation ,food services to them. Tibetans on a pilgrimage to Lhasa. They are kow-towing every few steps of the way. A Tibetan woman in Lhasa. Impact on Hospitality and Tourism Industry
Tourists may like to experience Pilgrimage or other events in Tibet.
So tour-operators can provide tailor-made tours to interested visitors.
These sectors will be benefited:
“ The Qinghai–Tibet railway opened in July 2006 and boosted Tibetan tourism markedly due to the increased accessibility and affordability of travel to Tibet.” ( Su and Wall, 2009,p.652)
Qingzang railway Impact on Hospitality and Tourism Industry
Food Service: Restaurants providing Tibetan food for tourists are not uncommon to see. Event sectors: Locals arrange special events for tourists. Eg. Tibetan dance Sho dun (Shotun) festival Tibetan dance food Impact on Hospitality and Tourism Industry
Hospitality and Tourism Industry impact on Tibetan culture
2. Tibetan’s lifestyle modernized from grazing (primary) to trading (tertiary) providing. 3. Foreign currency exchange increases. E.g. Tibet earned 1.1 billion and it has increased 36.27% compared to the national holiday week in 2008. ( Ming Pao, 2009) Hospitality and Tourism Industry impact on Tibetan culture
e.g. -touching a kid’s head is an impolite behavior in Tibet
-touching religious text
-wearing inappropriate dress (shorts)
(Die Ethnologic Tibets,2004)
Drawbacks : Hospitality and Tourism Industry impact on Tibetan culture
-Prayer Wheel are sold as a kind of souvenir and become a tool to make money than to pray to the god. -Tourists only regard the temples as place for sightseeing, but not for worshipping. disrespecting 2. Tibetan is unpleasant with tourists disrespecting behavior to the Tibetan culture and religion. Hospitality and Tourism Industry impact on Tibetan culture
E.g. More tourists rush to visit celestial burials and so there are less sky burials nowadays E.g. Tibet building are pulled down to build more commercial facilities, like cinema or karaoke to serve tourists. Hospitality and Tourism Industry impact on Tibetan culture
Potala Palace “The Potala palace will become nothing more than a mere showpiece of tourism for Chinese package tours. For Tibetans it’s just another example of the death of their culture.” (Sofield & Li,1998,p 375 )
A crowded place for trading, tourist sights, not a place for worshiping Buddha. Hospitality and Tourism Industry impact on Tibetan culture
Nowadays Lhasa: tourists can no longer experience Lhasa as the centre of religion in Tibet. only a commercialized Lhasa can be observed Hospitality and Tourism Industry impact on Tibetan culture