In any country you may visit, there are certain forms of etiquette that should be followed according to the customs and religious beliefs of the local people. Tibet has a very unique culture, and the people are friendly and easy to get along with. Tibetan culture has many different aspects from any other culture in the world, and visitors should always respect their religion and customs, and always be polite.Tibetan is a special nationality, do respect the local customs there or you might have trouble with local people. Tibetan people believe in Buddhism, they have a lot of customs related to their religious belief. Visitors should respect local customs and the traditions while travelling in Tibet. Besides, the political issues are sensitive as well, avoid talking about this with your tour guide, driver, monks and local people. To ensure that you do not offend anyone by mistake while on your tour in Tibet. You should get to know the etiquettes and taboos before you leave for the land of snows.

Dinning in Tibetan Home

Tibetans have a very different set of etiquettes when eating out to most other countries. It is expected that people eat and drink quietly, and not to eat too much in one bite. Also, eating with your mouth open is considered offensive, and when eating with your hand – for something like traditional tsampa – only the right hand should be used. Normally, Tibetan food will be served with bamboo chopsticks, instead of normal, western cutlery, and it is an art to be able to eat all the food just with chopsticks. One should always wait until all the guests are served before you start eating, and if there is a host who is paying or has invited you, wait until they have started first.

Taking Photograph

Most Tibetans don’t mind having their picture taken, however it is always appropriate to ask for permission first. Some enterprising locals may ask for payment for photos. Don't always assume that giving money to ordinary people to have their picture taken is honorable, (it is often not appropriate) and never take pictures of people who do not want their picture taken. Many Tibetans in rural areas have experienced polaroid pictures so you may have to explain that your digital camera will not deliver images on the spot! If you promise to print and deliver images please follow through with your promise. Pay close attention to where you can and cannot take photos. Photography is prohibited in places such as inside some monasteries, at sky burial sites and around military bases.

Visiting Tibetan Family

As hosts, Tibetans will normally allow their guests to proceed first, whether it is walking or talking. If you get the chance to spend some time with a Tibetan family, let the oldest go first when walking together out of respect. And it is taboo to touch the heads of the children with your hands. If you are invited into the Tibetan’s home, make sure that you do not step on the threshold as you enter, and one should always add the word “la” after someone’s name as a mark of respectYou need to be prepared to politely refuse more once you have had enough, as Tibetans will keep offering until forced not to. To politely refuse more, one should press the palms together and bow to the host, as if praying for their forgiveness.

Talking with Local People.

With both Tibetans and Chinese, it is important to ensure no one loses face during the interaction. One should not make another look bad, feel wronged, or force another to back down on a topic. It is widely believed that negotiations and patience can achieve more than arguments and confrontation. One should not be alarmed if a Tibetan man pokes out his tongue at you when meeting you for the first time, it is a traditional greeting. Ancient beliefs hold that a black tongue is a sign that the person intends to poison you, and that devils have green tongues. By sticking out his tongue, the person is proving he is neither a devil, nor does he have any ill intent towards you. So avoid this greeting after eating licorice or sucking on green candies. Other greeting gestures include touching foreheads, and opening their hands at waist level.

While Touring In Monastery

When entering a Tibetan monastery or temple, all visitors should remove their hats, and their arms and legs should be covered. While the monks may remove their shoes or sandals, tourists are not really expected to. It is considered disrespectful to enter a shrine wearing shorts and short skirts, or with no shirt on, so make sure you are wearing the appropriate attire. Speak softly while inside, and do not touch anything, as many of the objects inside the temples are revered and sacred. Taking photographs inside the temple is generally not allowed, although some do allow it in certain parts of the monastery for a small fee, as long as you do not use a flash, and taking photos outside is permitted. Again, the soles of the feet should not be facing any people, altars, or sacred objects when sitting, and one should never walk in front of a person who is at prayer.

Buying Souvenir At Market

Barkhor Street is one of the largest bazaars in Tibet, and a great place to buy things to take back as souvenirs. There are many things you can buy there, as well as in other bazaars and markets around the region, especially the sought-after Tibetan knives. While they are not allowed on the plane home, you can send it by parcel post before you leave Tibet.As with any market or bazaar, it is normal to haggle a little over the price. Guaranteed, the price they are asking is a lot more than they expect to get for the item, and it is normal to start the bargaining by offering around half of their asking price, and working from there. Your guide can often help in this, and once you have reached an impasse as to the vendor’s lowest price, you can be sure they will not go lower. Bargaining can also be fun, and a great way to interact with the locals, as they enjoy the thrill of the selling as much as the actual sale.

In any country you may visit, there are certain forms of etiquette that should be followed according to the customs and religious beliefs of the local people. Tibet has a very unique culture, and the people are friendly and easy to get along with. Tibetan culture has many different aspects from any other culture in the world, and visitors should always respect their religion and customs, and always be polite.Tibetan is a special nationality, do respect the local customs there or you might have trouble with local people. Tibetan people believe in Buddhism, they have a lot of customs related to their religious belief. Visitors should respect local customs and the traditions while travelling in Tibet. Besides, the political issues are sensitive as well, avoid talking about this with your tour guide, driver, monks and local people. To ensure that you do not offend anyone by mistake while on your tour in Tibet. You should get to know the etiquettes and taboos before you leave for the land of snows.

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