My tryst with immodesty

Telling the world about being nominated for an award is, in the Tibetan world, akin to being immodest. Any Tibetan caught or suspected of blowing his own trumpet is met with the slightly unkind, yet apt tongue-in-cheek Tibetan remark: “Kyakpe kup kyak,” which literally translates into “The shit is lifting the butt.”

award21But today, I am throwing caution to the winds by proudly letting you know that I was nominated for my first blogging award — The Versatile Blogger Award — by Vicki oEco Elements. Vicki, who is passionate about healthy living and the environment, writes a wonderful blog as he seeks to discover and share unique ways of preserving the planet for our children.

I’d like to share the award rules (given below) and nominate my other friends in the blogging world, this time a powerful set of women of four:

Perelin Colors — “Travel advice and impressions of a colorful world”

Plateau Journal — “Threads of life”

Simply Tibetan — ” Tsampa, Momo, Laphing and more”

Revisions of Grandeur — “Life is a draft”


  1. Thank the person who nominated you and add a link to their blog
  2. List the award rules so your nominees will know what to do.
  3. State 7 things about yourself
  4. Nominate up to 11 other bloggers for the award.
  5. Contact your nominees to let them know you have nominated them.
  6. Display the award logo on your blog.

Monthly blog spotlight: Simply Tibetan, Simply Delicious

I’ve been following this wonderful blog called Simply Tibetan, Simply Delicious, and I think you should too.

Simply Tibetan has a wonderful collection of recipes of unique and yet-familiar Tibetan dishes, including the tsampa, the Tibetan staple diet made of barley or wheat, and momo, another popular Tibetan dish.

A Tibetan lady preparing her bowl of tsampa

A Tibetan lady preparing her bowl of tsampa

The author artfully weaves together personal accounts of her own experiences with Tibetan food and cooking in all the recipes on her blog, proving without doubt the significance of food in one’s effort to preserve one’s rich and unique traditions and memories in a foreign land.

STSD, who appears to have been blogging since 2008, has over the years shared a wide assortment of recipes, roping in friends and family in this inspiring enterprise. There’s even one on a Tibetan snack called khapsey, where the major part of the preparation (and eating) was done by the author’s son and his friend.

And yet, it is the author’s narratives and personal stories that bring the recipes to life, allowing the reader a taste of an original Tibetan kitchen amid all the modernity — in that Tibetan cooking essentially calls for a strong perception in terms of duration and measurements rather than defining clear specifications on either of these two essentials of modern-day cooking. Nonetheless, the author is able to effectively balance the two in her posts, even acknowledging this truth in her momo post.

So take a moment and try any of these fabulous recipes, and your home will be filled with the rich aroma of Tibetan cooking.

Choe-khang or prayer house, a Tibetan’s oasis

The all-too-familiar and much-loved smell of burnt juniper leaves welcomes you to the Choe-khang or prayer room of any Tibetan home — the oasis of any Tibetan.

Jan 7Inside, the gods and goddesses of Tibet look down at you from beautifully hand-painted Thangkas, where some assume peaceful expressions, while others appear more wrathful. They also smile at you from gold-painted statues that have been adorned with silk and precious stones.

Each statue is placed in the altar in the order of their importance, with the main statue of the Buddha either in the center or at the beginning of the line. At the foot of this comforting sight of the gold-plated statues are seven silver bowls of water offerings or yonjop, an offering made every morning and taken down before sunset. Between these bowls of water offerings are butter lamps, their flames illuminating the faces of the Gods, as if infusing life into the statues and willing them to assume a human form. At the end of the seven bowls of water offerings is a small bowl filled with tea — another daily offering of the first drops of tea for that day, following which the tea is finally served to members of the family.

Next to the altar is a wooden case with rows of pejas or Tibetan scriptures neatly stacked one atop another. At the end of the altar is a yang-gam or a chest of treasures/fortune.

Amid all of these treasures of Tibetan Buddhism, you can’t help but feel at peace — with the world, with yourself — each time you step into a Tibetan Choe-khang.