Introduction of Tibetan Language, Houses and Yaks

As a Tibet Tour Company located in Lhasa, here we introduce some local conditions and customs of Tibet in order to help tourists know Tibet more better.

Tibetan Language
As far as we know, there are 435 languages in the world are classed as Tibeto-Burman group. And the Tibetan language is one of the 23 Tibeto-Burman languages that are commonly used in the Himalayan region and border of China. But the different pronunciation clearly exists among the dialects of unlike regions, while the writing is nearly the same in Tibet. Dated back to 7th. Century, the great king Songtsen Gampo sent his minister Thonmi Sambhota to India for learning the writing language. When Thomi backed to Tibet, Songtsen Gampo studied the words for a few days at the Phapongang Monastery, where he finally invented the distinct Tibetan script with the form of letters based on Indic alphabet. It’s more remarkable that he designed a new syllabary contained 4 vowels and 30 consonants to fit this new system. For the grammar, Thomi wrote 8 theses to explain it, but unfortunately, only 2 remained during the long history. Since then, the Tibetan writing language got several improvements generation by generation and ultimately become the steady status nowadays.  

Tibetan houses
Tibetan houses do have a special style that you can easily recognize it from other buildings.
But actually, it’s with local features of different regions in Tibet as well. In the central Tibet, people used to build houses by stones, earth, and woods; in the eastern part, people prefer to use woods as a basic core and outside wrapped with a very thin wall; in the western and far-eastern (Khampa) area, adobes and woods are the main materials for building houses.
There is another interesting point that the peak-roofed houses only can be found in the eastern Tibet due to the long monsoon in this area, while the flat roof with Lungta (prayer flags with horses in the wind) on every corner are used in the rest part of Tibet. 
If you have a chance to come to Tibet, you can see all the doors and windows in the house are decorated with paintings and colorful clothes, which are called as Shambu. Due to the religious matter, Tibetan people make a special room where they can put Buddhist ritual items and images, and Thangka, one kind of traditional art handicraft. As everyone knows, animals are very important for Tibetans that’s why they live in a small shelter around the house while there are ring-shaped cow-dung around the southern walls for drying.

Houses with peak roof in the Eastern Tibet

As a symbolic animal of Tibet plateau, Yaks could not be found in other places in the world.
Resisting to the cold of minus 30 or 40 degree makes Yaks can get used to the bad natural conditions. Frankly speaking, Yaks are treasures to Tibetans. Firstly, Yaks’ milk is a beverage and can be made into butter, besides, oil for lamps. Secondly, Yaks’ meat can be eaten for energy. Thirdly, their hair is good material for ropes, clothes, blankets, and so on. At last, their dung is a most important fuel for Tibetans to heat the house.
In the ancient days, as the only currency, Yaks helped Tibetan people exchange things. And farmers plowed fields with Yaks.

Yak at the lakeside