Tibetans of China
I decided to focus my paper on the modern day Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) in China. My group chose option two where we each pick a different culture and choose the same topics to write about. Our group wanted to learn more about the domestic life, kinship and marriage aspects of our cultures. Modern day Tibetans in rural areas still have many of their traditional customs intact, even though the Chinese Government has been trying to regulate it. In the bigger cities and for the exiles in India it seems the people have more freedom and have gained more independence to do what they want to do.
I wanted to start by giving a little background information of Tibet. Tibet is located in Central Asia and takes up a large portion of the plateaus and mountainous regions including Mt. Everest (Tibet). Before the 1950’s Tibet was considered an isolated part of the world and consisted of a cultural and religious community known as Tibetan Buddhism (Tibet). In 1950 the People’s Republic of China incorporated Tibet into their system and there have been many protests and riots since then opposing this. Many Tibetans went into exile in India when China invaded their country including their leader the Dalai Lama (Tibet). He has yet to return.
Monogamous relationships are common now; however, in 1980 families were given back their own farm and land to manage (Childs). When this happened they revived one of their most important marital traditions, fraternal polyandry, which is where two or more brothers share one wife (Scupin 184). The eldest son took a bride and the younger brothers were included in the marriage contract as junior husbands (Tibet). By doing this it ensured one generation of heirs which the land could be passed down to (Childs). The parents arrange marriages for their daughters and they are sent to live with their husband’s family. The downside to this tradition is that many daughters are unable to find husbands. When this happens, the...
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