Amazing Tibetan Women
The yellow flowers from Qinghai Lake are amazing in August!
he populace of Tibet (TAR) and Tibetan regions varies. It the rural areas, for instance in Yushu the population is predominantly Tibetan. For the tourist who has more than a few days and is interested in the Tibetan culture, the rural areas are a definite MUST-SEE. With only a few days, the old city of Lhasa, the Barkhor kora circuit, is the best place to witness Tibetans in their everyday lives, dressed to the hilt, performing their rituals. At the end of 2000, the total population of all citizens in Tibet (TAR) was 2.62 million. In Lhasa, the Tibetan population used to account for about 1/3, where 2/3 were Chinese. Projections for the population to grow from 300,000 to 700,000 in coming years will change the percentages dramatically. Travelers should consider putting Tibet on the top of their "bucket list" before more dramatic changes occur. Also consider visiting areas with a higher density of Tibetan population, like Yushu in the Amdo area.
There are communities other than Tibetan who also live in Tibetan areas; Han Chinese, Menpa, Dengs, Sherpa, and Luopa. Religions other than Tibetan Buddhism are Islam, Catholic and Christian, but Tibetans are strictly Tibetan Buddhists in a very
Walking home after a long day of watching the yaks
real sense. The whole of Tibetan areas, not including the cities, is fairly wide open with only about 1.68 persons per square kilometer on the average. Of course this includes the mountain ranges and uninhabitable lands.
Ancestors of the present Tibetan people lived on both sides of the Tsangpo River and made their living by growing mainly barley and raising yaks. Nomads still live in yak-hair tents and spend their days roaming the hillside shepherding their yaks, and now sheep. Sheep are favored by the Chinese as was wheat during the Cultural Revolution. Tsampa, a barley staple is a highly favored food among Tibetans. Tsampa and yak butter tea! Yum!
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