Tibet was a sovereign nation for
hundreds of years prior to the Chinese occupation of 1949/50. Today the
Tibetan cultural area makes up 25% of Chinese geographical territory. Once
the juncture of Ladakh, Kashmir, Mustang, Nepal, Sikkim, Bhutan, India,
Bengal, Mongolia and China, Tibet despite its forbidding geography had
cultural, linguistic, economic, and political relations with each one of
those states and despite times when it held an inferior feudal position with
regard to China -- the famous patron/client arrangement -- a majority of
historians agree that Tibet was for centuries an independent country,
thought it was rarely centralized. As recently as 1918, a Chinese army was
repulsed from the Kham border.
Tibetans in india:
In 1959 the 14th Dalai Lama, the spiritual and temporal leader of the
people of Tibet, fled to India having been unable to negotiate a peaceful
coexistence with China. In India, he established a government-in-exile in
the Himalayan town of Dharamsala. Over the subsequent 40-plus years other
Tibetans have left Tibet and settled throughout India and Nepal, and smaller
numbers have emigrated to North America and Europe. The degree to which
Tibetans seized on culture as a focus for their new identities is striking.
The establishment of cultural institutions that would maintain and
strengthen traditional Tibetan culture was a high priority for the refugees.
The Spiritual Benedictions of Buddhism:
Probably Buddhism was first introduced to Tibet in 173 CE during the
reign of the 28th Yarlung king Lha Thothori Nyantsen, but had apparently
no impact. The first official historic introduction of a Buddhist
scripture into Tibet happened during reign of King Hlato Ri Nyentsen
(28th king of Tibet - around 500 CE), however, the book was not
translated at the time.
The Everest Region:
The Tibetan approach to Mt Everest or Qoomolangma (8848m) provides far
better vistas of the world's highest peak than those on the Nepal side.
Some 27,000 sq km around Everest's Tibetan face have been designated as
the Qoomolangma Nature Preserve, aiming to protect the environment and
the cultural traditions of the local people. For foreign travelers, the
Everest Base Camp has become the most popular trekking destination in
Tibet, but this does not mean that the region is exactly swarming with