Winter Pilgrims
Religion and Culture

Winter Pilgrims

For rural Tibetans, maximum leisure comes with winter. The harvest long over, farmers turn to other occupations and the bare pasture keeps the ...

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The Throwing or Ritual Cakes
Religion and Culture

The Throwing or Ritual Cakes

Every year, Ritoma holds the ceremony of throwing the ‘Torkya’ or Ritual Cake. Triangular in shape and over four feet high, torkyas are red and...

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Yaks and Transport
Religion and Culture

Yaks and Transport

There are 13 million yaks on the Tibetan Plateau. Before the age of trade and globalization, they were the center of Tibetan life, providing mi...

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The Lama Visits
Religion and Culture

The Lama Visits

Once every few years, Ritoma is host to an important lama, usually from Labrang. It is a great honor for the village and local monastery, whose...

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Women on Tibetan Plateau
Animals and Surroundings

On the Move

Today, people tend to forget how much we, homo sapiens, have always moved from one place to another. Migration, which happened ‘en masse’ for m...

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Silhouettes
Religion and Culture

Silhouettes

Ritoma, like many other areas of grassland is a succession of hills and valleys. Nomads pitch their tents on the south facing flank of a hill, ...

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Going to the Races
Religion and Culture

Going to the Races

Horses used to be central to life on the Tibetan Plateau, for transportation, herding and symbols of status. The Plateau was famous for its han...

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Sagadawa
Religion and Culture

Sagadawa

Sagadawa is the full moon of the 4th month of lunar calendar. This is the day that the Buddha was born, gained enlightenment and passed away. I...

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Sagadawa Practices
Religion and Culture

Sagadawa Practices

Sagadawa is a holy month during which merit is believed to count manifold over that accumulated at any other time. Tibetan Buddhist culture is ...

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Losar
Religion and Culture

Losar

The New Year is a time to start anew, to put negative thoughts, habits and struggles behind us and look towards the future with hope and resolv...

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As Losar Approaches
Religion and Culture

As Losar Approaches

As the end of the year of the Monkey approaches to give way to that of the Dog, I think about Losar’s attributes: Though it may be cold outside...

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Cham Dance
Clothing

Cham Dance

Every year around December, when the cold has settled in and the new year is close, the monastery in Garnying, a few kilometers from Ritoma, ho...

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