That’s the greeting commonly used in Tibet. Its a blessing that means more or less “may all auspcious signs come to this environment” although there’s really no perfect translation for it. Our tour guide taught us to use this phrase first thing after we got off the 4 day long train ride from Beijing to Lhasa. She also presented us with white prayers scarves called “Khata” (or hada in Chinese) as a sign of good luck and purity, is draped around the neck as a friendly gesture of welcome and also presented at shrines and ceremonies. During the trip with my little cousin, we saw Khatas placed also on tree branches and across bridges, basically anywhere a Tibetan has passed by there are these white scarves. I had thought about taking the scarf back with me, as a kind of souvenir for being in Tibet which many other people did. But instead my cousin and I decided that as a sign of appreciaton and out of respect for their religion we would too like the Tibetans, place our scarf in a temple as an offering to Buddha. Tibet is truly a religious and holy land, and I really am after this trip quite in awe of their spirituality.
These Tibetan women below are having a chat in the afternoon after prayers at a temple in Lhasa. Though it was difficult to understand what they were saying, on the whole they seemed to be genuinely good-natured people.
Prayer flags in the main colours: red, yellow, green, blue, and white have Buddhist scriptures written on them. They carry the wishes and luck of the Tibetans in the wind. Like the white scarves, these are also found everywhere from temples, to house to mountain tops. After a few days in the oft far distances and unpopulated landscapes of Tibet these became a symbol of the familiar for me, because they showed that other Tibetans had previously traveled there before and marked their good wishes.
On Barkour Street in Lhasa, it is the marketplace for tourist trinkets, jewellery and housewares. The structure is the Johkang Monastery (Temple) which was built under Songtsen Gampo, it is probably the main temple in Tibet and the most visited pilgrame site. Princess Wencheng helped map Tibet, which is in the shape of a beautiful women lying on her back, and where her heart should be is where this temple was built.
This is one of my favourite photos. The monks have just finished their lunch inside the Tashilumpo Monastery and are coming down the stairs, some others are putting on their shoes. I find their red shoes really intersting, they seem to be made out of fabric so they’re more like thick stockings I guess. I also admire the beautiful wall paintings and designs of the monasteries and temples, they’re so intricate and they are used to tell stories from the past.
I love the Tibetan traditional clothing and colours. This was taken just inside the entry of the Potala Palace.
The Potala Palace in Lhasa, the original residence of the Dalai Lama. It is the tallest building and there is a law in Tibet that no other structure can surpass its height. This beautiful white and red structure completely takes my breath away!