Tibet is officially a part of China. But until China invaded them in 1950, Tibet had its own defined culture and way of life. China forced them to follow their practices, and since then, the Tibetan life has changed dramatically. But the fundamental culture of Tibet cannot be changed by anyone. Tibetans have managed to live during many harsh times in its long history, and their cultural values remain deeply rooted in the hearts of the people.
Tibetan history begins in the 7th century AD when the Tibetan armies were considered as great a scourge to their neighbors as the Huns were to Europe. After that, Tibet saw a rise and fall during its history, and Tibetan Buddhism had spread by the 7th century. After the 9th century the monasteries became increasingly politicized, and in 1641 the
Gelukpa (the Yellow Hat sect) used the support of the Buddhist Mongols to crush the Red Hats, their rivals. The Yellow Hat's leader adopted the title of Dalai Lama, or Ocean of Wisdom; religion and politics became inextricably entwined presided over the Dalai Lama, the god-king.
With the fall of the Qing Dynasty in 1911, Tibet entered a period of independence that was to last until 1950. In 1950 China invaded Tibet. After the People's Liberation Army entered the region and occupied the eastern Tibet, the Dalai Lama sent a delegation to Beijing. As a result an agreement that allowed the PLA to occupy the rest of Tibet, but left the existing political, social and religious organization intact. But the agreement eventually fell apart, and rebellion broke out. The Dalai Lama and his retinue fled to India, after the rebellion was suppressed by Chinese troops. Tibet became an "autonomous region" of China, and over the next few years its political organization was drastically altered. Although Tibetans had their own way and culture, it was considered "incorrect". Tibetans suffered each time China considered policy reform including land reform and the Cultural Revolution. Tibet's economy was messed up like all of China. Grudgingly, the Chinese have admitted to making a "mistaken" in Tibet.
The Maoist Communist Party chief in Tibet was sacked in 1979. And most of the rural communes were disbanded and the land was returned to private formers. Some of the monasteries have reopened. Besides, Dalai Lama accepted the Nobel Peace Prize in late 1989, marked a greater sympathy on the part of the western world.
The Chinese community believed that they saved Tibet from feudalism by building roads, schools, hospitals, and airport and so on. On the other hand, Tibetans cannot forgive the destruction of their monasteries and attacks on their religion and culture. Nevertheless, the Chinese continued to control Tibet. But the situation changed dramatically when Tibetans rebelled in 1987. Chinese security forces reportedly opened fire on the demonstrators, many of whom were monks from monasteries around Lhasa.
Tragic history can been seen in a lot of part such as education and economy even now.
Since the remote past, every aspect of Tibetan life has been deeply related with religion. The main religion in Tibet is Buddhism, so many Buddhists learn sutra, meditate, and discipline themselves to make ethics higher. The Temple in Tibet is open to everyone, accepted the people from children to adults without any distinction. Temple plays a role in elementary schools and it is administered efficiently. Surely there are the other religions in Tibet. Despite the absolute authority of Buddhism, they are venerated. And each Dalai Lama was considered the reincarnation of the last. Upon his death, the monks searched the land for a newborn child who showed some sign of embodying his predecessor's spirit.
With Buddhism as an essential aspects, it permeates things like culture, literature, and art. And inn general Tibetans eat Tsamp, which is kneaded with flour and butter tea, and attached with some food like cheese or raisins. Butter tea is essential to Tibetans, in fact Tibetan drinks from thirty to fifty cups of butter tea each day. Tibetan costume called Chuba, which is like a gown with a high collar and long sleeves. Monks wear gowns without sleeves called Dhonkha. Women in Tibet wear colorful aprons called Pandens, and combs called Pachoks in their hair.
After China occupied Tibet, more than two hundreds companies were established up until1977 in Tibet. The number of the workers of them reached more than twenty thousands, and the population of Tibetan Industry is getting higher, about from 70 to 80 percent is occupied by Tibetan in the field of wool and machinery industry. But as far as industry of electric machine, the Chinese occupy more than half of that industry.
The main production in Tibet consists of wool, and it takes part mainly in exportation. Other exportations include salt, medicinal herbs, and wood. About eighty or ninety thousands woodmans worked in several regions such as Amdo. They cut timber for the other areas of China without wood. Unfortunately, the cutting down of wood is taking its toll on the natural balance of things.
Traditional Tibetan crafts barely exist now, it is being robbed from its position in the market by factories established in other parts of China. After the Chinese invaded Tibet, they ignored popular Tibetan opinion, and forced the Tibetans to follow their orders. That dramatically changed the life of every Tibetan. Their economy seems to be improving by the figures, but virtually the quality of life has not changed. So Tibet remains the economically poorest area of all the china to this day.
The current regulations say that all foreigners wanting to visit Tibet must be part of a tour group. These so-called tour groups usually break up after they have gone through all the proper regulations. The cost of the tour group is added to the price of your ticket to Tibet. Once in Tibet, there are some places that actually require you to possess a travel permit. Lhasa has a large number of travel agencies catering to this market, organizing groups which quickly disband after the permits are issued. Since the environment and the culture of Tibet is quite different from other parts of China, travelers often have trouble making their way around. But as you know, Tibet has something mysterious for foreigners and great culture. For example, the most imposing attraction of Lhasa is the Potala place. It was once the center of Tibetan government and the winter residence of the Dalai Lama. The roof offers marvelous views of Lhasa and the region, so don't forget your camera!