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在线翻译:
szdaily -> Budding Writers -> 
Seeing, hearing and smelling Lhasa
    2015-09-16  08:53    Shenzhen Daily

    Jun Tan
    It was raining in Lhasa the day before I left. I went out from the hostel to the ticket booking office and on the way back, I walked into a teahouse near Barkhor Street to have a drink.

    The humble teahouse had small wooden doors with two long, worn-out Buddha knots hanging on each one. I lifted up the thick blanket behind the doors and took a seat in the back. There were not a lot of people there, and all of them were Tibetan, which was normal for a small teahouse on a rainy day in the offseason. I was sitting near the back door, sharing a broken table with two old Tibetan ladies and waiting for my order: a bottle of milk tea and a bowl of Tibetan dumplings. Outside the back door was a small garden. Red were the flowers and green was the grass. Behind a tall tree, there sat a small yellow temple hosted by a group of nuns. The teahouse was affiliated with the temple.

    The air inside the teahouse smelled of sweet milk and burning firewood. There was a huge stove outside the kitchen, wood burning fiercely inside. Smoke rose up from the long chimney, which clung to the wall and extended three stories to the roof. The house, slightly lit by daylight creeping through the high wooden roof and golden flame from the huge stove, was still a little dim.

    People chatted in Tibetan and sipped their tea while listening to their companions. Their left hands held the edges of their cups while their other hands swung prayer wheels continuously, just like they did when they prayed at the temple, visited with relatives or even walked down the street.

    Like other local old residents, people in this teahouse were wearing traditional Tibetan clothes. The women mainly wore black, with some simple patterns sewn with dark red threads, while men preferred plain white long gowns and a black or brown coat with a leather waistband. The people wore a lot of rings, bracelets and necklaces for blessings, mostly made of Tibetan silver, jade, gems, turquoise and ancient amber.

    As the modernization process deepens and the tourism industry flourishes, younger generations have abandoned those dull and complicated traditional costumes and heavy ornaments and turned to non-Tibetan styles. They dress like other people, though mostly not very fashionably. Only the reddish tan on their cheeks reminds the world that they are the offspring of this holy plateau.

    I had climbed thousands of stone staircases to reach the sacred Potala Palace and saw numerous adherents praying sincerely in front of the Buddha. They kneeled down on the blanket to express their gratitude to Buddha or to beg for mercy.

    As an outsider who knows little about this religion, all Buddha statues look almost the same to me. But being there, seeing people sincerely doing those minor things, listening to the adherents’ murmuring and host monk chanting a mantra, breathing in the air mixed with incense and balm, I kind of wanted to cry, but why?

    Watching local people drinking tea and exchanging small talk in this humble house, listening to their laughter and gentle voices, and inhaling the sweet milk and burning firewood, the touching feeling that invaded me came back suddenly. This time, it was not because of the awe for Tibetans’ strong beliefs in divinity, but for the yearning of peace.

    

    

    

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