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Are there any taboos for tourists in Tibet?

Tibet Culture FAQ 437

Are there any taboos for tourists in Tibet?

A: If you occasionally see the cattle and sheep hung with a red, yellow, green cloth logo roam in the countryside in Tibetan Regions, please do not drive or injury them as they are the offerings from the local Tibetans. Never aim at an eagle the shotgun, for Tibetans forbid any one to hurt their god bird.

B: You are not allowed to enter a monastery without the permission. After entering the monastery, please do not smoke. The articles inside the temple can be viewed, but cannot touch the Buddha statues, scripture books and take photos without authorization.

C: Please do not step on the door-sill with the foot, while entering the Tibetan’s tent, or house, also do not spit in front of local people.

D: Tourists cannot clap the shoulder of Tibetan people. When the Tibetan put out their tongue, it symbolizes respect instead of mockery. When the Tibetan put their palms together devoutly, it is an etiquette.

E: Regarding celestial burial: Neither the Tibetan government nor tourism agencies encourage tourists to see the celestial burial. Tibetans, especially the families of the dead, are reluctant to be watched by the Han people, which is a national custom and human nature. If you have the opportunity to see, please respect your words and deeds.

F: Please do not purchase any wild animal fur, antelope horns, or yak skulls etc. in Tibet. This is tantamount to supporting the increasingly rampant poaching of wild animals in Tibet. In fact, if you were found to be carrying these items when you left Tibet, you could be faced a serious trouble.

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