Tibetan Tea Culture

Tibetans pay close attention to sipping tea. For instance, bowls used to contain the tea should be flawless and the tea bowl should be held with both hands.

When refilling the bowl, the palm of the left hand should face the sky, and no tea should spill out of the bowl. If lamas are invited to recite sutras in the home, others should not touch the utensils that the lamas use.

Tea has a thousand uses for Tibetans. When one has guests, he or she will entertain them with tea. Parents and elders are often toasted with tea. When older people themselves sit together, they sip tea, gossip, and often recite the Six-Syllable Prayer. When going to visit friends, one's gifts should include tea.

When a couple becomes engaged, tea is indispensable because it represents everlasting ties to Tibetans. When the bride reaches her husband's home for the first time, she should go directly to the kitchen, where she will make tea for her parents-in-law.

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