Tibetan Residential Etiquette
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Tibetan Residential Etiquette

Update: Nov. 6th, 2013

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Tibetan Residential Etiquette - Lhasa Residential Feature

In Lhasa, people invite Lama or astrologist to choose date of housing start, direction of house ground breaking and person for housing ground breaking. There is certain principles to follow. Once housing site is decided, the host of housing needs to place some sacred objects to avoid evil spirits in the chosen auspicious direction. When starting build the house, Lama is invited to chant scriptures in the building site to beg the forgiveness of land deity. In the construction process, the host will put jade, agate and other objects of great value inside the wall that depends on his economic condition to bless a good fortune in the future. When housing is going to seal roof, two small jars, symbolize deities of heaven and earth respectively are kept on the wall for prayer. Moving to a new house also can't be done at one's own will but should be conducted in a chosen auspicious date and direction. On that day, people hold ceremonies too. For instance, a host puts up a pile of cattle's shit and a bucket of fresh water, in the new yard, which means a booming life. When move to new house, a host should invite lamas chant scriptures. When enter into the new house, the host should present hadas to gate, cattle's shit and water bucket in the yard, as well as pillars of each room, to dispel evil spirits and pray for good fortune.

Tibetan Residential Etiquette - Southeastern Residential Feature

There is a set of complicated ceremonies in house building, which is related with karang xin, a wooden male genital around forty centimeters long. Karang xin is regarded as an object to bring a family for tune of flourishing, auspicious and lucky. In the building process, they need to make thirteen Karang xin in total. When house building finished, a lama is also invited to chant scriptures. He, with Karang xin in a hand, heads a host and workers to walk around house for three times. To comply with rules, then choosing a specific direction to excavate a deep hole so to bury kangrang xin inside. Meanwhile, nine kinds of grains, silk, cloth, metal chips are buried with a bowl of milk inside. When it is done, people begin drinking wine to celebrate. The wine must be made by the host's sister or cousin. There are also some rules to comply with as drinking. Rules are all on Karang xin, such as keep karang xin in hand, tie a white thread to it, even make fun with it. Usually, the banquet of celebrating the newly built house lasts three to five days. Most of the wine used in the banquet is sent by neighbors, and most cakes are sent by friends. They enjoy drinking together, and all congratulate to the host.

Tibetan Residential Etiquette - Shigatse Residential Feature

Like other areas in Tibet, Tsang area also has its unique custom of moving to a better house. In Tsang area (Shigatse area), it is an old custom to congratulate relatives, friends and neighbors for their new house building completion. To congratulate others on their newly finished houses is a solemn issue that they need to dree up seriously. They need to bring gifts, which are more about food, such as, beef, mutton, qinke barley wine, butter and so on. The host would treat guests the best he could. When guests are seated, they cannot move casually, firstly take three big bowls of wine, and sprinkle a bit of zanba on left shoulder. Then they can come and visit other rooms otherwise will be made to drink wine in numbers of bowls as a forfeit. Drinking is the main part of celebration They also dance for delight.

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