Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Tibet




Entering Tibet you feel as though you've entered an entirely different world. The traditional Tibetan culture, though heavily diluted recently by government-sponsored migrations of Han and Hui Chinese, remains strong.

There are seven prefectures in the Tibet Autonomous Region:
Lhasa
Qamdo
Nagqu
Ngari
Nyingchi
Shannan
Xigatse

This article only covers the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR). There are also Tibetan autonomous prefectures and or counties located in the provinces of Qinghai, southwest Gansu, western Sichuan and northwest Yunnan, covered in the articles on those provinces. These areas are culturally, historically and linguistically Tibetan to various degrees; there was once a Tibetan Kingdom considerably larger than the autonomous region's current borders. The question of Tibetan sovereignty is a hot-button issue. All of what is today the TAR, plus additional bordering areas were indirectly under Chinese control (as a tributary state) until the end of the Qing Dynasty and the founding of the first Republic in 1912. Then depending on whom you ask, the history gets murky. In contemporary China, the term Tibet refers only to the TAR, but the term "Tibetan Regions", with its focus on all of ethnographic Tibet is becoming more widespread amongst Chinese in China as well.See List of Chinese provinces and regions for an explanation of the terms "autonomous region" and "autonomous prefecture" if required.