Tibet village raises toast to housing program

Updated: 2012-02-06 08:10

By Dachiog and Li Yao (China Daily)

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Traditional decor

Tubtantanpel and Dawa live with their son, daughter-in-law and two grandchildren. Their eldest daughter lives and works in downtown Lhasa, while their youngest son's home is about 160 kilometers away in Shannan.

Loyeshi, the couple's nephew, who is a Living Buddha at a monastery in Shannan, returned for the party with three other monks.

The family uses a room on the top floor as a Buddhist pray room, complete with a Buddha statue, colorful thangka (scroll paintings) and shimmering butter-oil lamps.

Their spacious living room is decorated with ornaments of vibrant colors and delicate designs, while on display are also eight objects related to Tibetan Buddhism, including a lotus flower, prayer wheel and a pair of goldfish.

Yangjan, one of two women who helped give out barley liquor at the party, said the hosts had prepared eight barrels of wine, each containing 50 kg, and many cases of beer. It ensured guests were kept in good spirits as they chatted and played cards or mahjong.

A buffet of 32 dishes was offered, including ginseng cooked with twi (a desert made of butter, cheese and brown sugar), spicy beef paste and Nepali lamb curry, as well as cuisines from Sichuan and Hunan provinces.

The meal ended with a toasting ceremony in which young women in Tibetan dress offered wine in silver bowls. Each guest held a bowl with the right hand and used the middle finger of the left to splash drops of wine into the air three times, a gesture to honor Buddha, Buddhist dharma and the monks, and to bring good luck to the hosts.

Gyaltsan, 24, came to the party in a modern outfit of a down jacket, jeans and hiking shoes, but topped it off with a traditional Tibetan hat.

"I have prepared gifts and a khata (Tibetan scarf) for the many parties we will have during this time, from Spring Festival to Tibetan New Year, right until the busy farming season begins," he said.

Toward the end of the party, Tubtantanpel added: "Tibetan farmers lead a peaceful and happy life, and better yet is to come, so long as there are no natural or man-made disasters."

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