With unique culture and religion, Tibetans have different ways of behavior in many aspects. Be sure to respect local customs and traditions when traveling in Tibet.
There is an old saying: "Sing the local songs when you get to a local place." So please keep in mind the following tips to make you behave well:
- Remember not to step on threshold when entering the tent or house.
- Calling somebody in name please add "la" behind the name to express respects.
- If you are asked to sit down, please cross your legs, do not stretch your legs forward and face your sole to others.
- Take your hat off when entering a chapel. Do not touch or remove anything on an altar.
- Always walk around monasteries, piles of Mani stones, pagodas and other religious structures in a clockwise direction. That you do not walk in a clockwise direction is considered to be a profane act by the Tibetans.
- 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 tough inside of the bowl.
- Do not touch, walk over or sit on any religious texts, objects or prayer flags in monasteries.
- 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.
- 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.
- It is not polite to clap your palms and spit behind the Tibetan people.
- 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.
- 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).
- Eagles are the sacred birds in the eyes of the Tibetan people. You should not drive them away or injure them. On the outskirts, you could not drive or disturb the sheep or cows with red, green or yellow cloth strips on.
- Since more and more tourists are going to Tibet, more and more Tibetan people get used of seeing the western people with jeans, sun glasses and some of them with shorts (it is not appropriate to wear shorts in public or outdoors among the Tibetans.), the above rules are not obeyed so strictly as before. But we still suggest you take the above advices and travel to behave well.