Hi. I’m Choejor (choo-johr). Welcome to Tibet. From our village near the city of Lhasa (lah-sah), we can see Everest, the highest mountain on earth. My father herds yaks, leading them to grassy pastures for grazing. Men depend on yaks to carry heavy loads. Women weave yak hair into cloth for tents, blankets and coats. One of my chores is milking our yaks. Mom uses the milk to make cheese, yoghurt, and butter. Without these animals, I could not have my favorite drink – hot tea mixed with salt and melted yak butter. Yum!
My family is traveling to the horse festival, an annual event that reflects our history. Hundreds of years ago, my people raised horses to trade with China. Since the festival lasts for a week, we take our yak-hair tent and camp in a grassy valley with hundreds of other families.
During the opening ceremonies, women dance gracefully, waving colorful scarves to the music. Men perform dances with long knives. Then it’s time for the horse races. Decked out in their finest clothes, riders parade across a great platform where an important Buddhist monk blesses them. We cheer loudly for our favorites. Riders must steer their horses around obstacles as they race towards the finish line. Some perform dangerous stunts, shooting rifles and arrows at targets while galloping at full speed.
After the races, men compete in wrestling and weight lifting. I participate in special children’s contests like tug-of-war. Throughout the week, my family will join in religious activities like burning incense, stringing up bright prayer flags, and spinning prayer wheels. We hope the gods will hear our prayers and bless our family for the coming year.
Imagine that you are participating in children’s games at the horse festival. Play a Tibetan version of “Duck, Duck, Goose.” Sit in a circle and give the handkerchief/scarf to the player who walks around the circle. Instead of tapping each player on the head, drop the scarf behind the person you choose to chase you. If the handkerchief is dropped behind you, you must chase and tag the runner before he gets back to his place in the circle. Otherwise, you are “it.”
Option: For small families, imagine that you are attending the horse festival with Choejor and her family. Build a tent from blankets or sheets. Drink hot tea with a dash of salt and small pat of butter added to each cup.
- Most Kham people have no way to hear about Jesus. They spend much of their day praying to idols and spirits who cannot hear or answer them. Pray that God will use Chinese believers living in Tibet to tell the Kham about the true God, the one who hears and answers prayer.
- Although Tibet is officially a part of China, most Tibetan people strive to keep their unique heritage and long to be citizens of an independent nation. Pray that as Kham families learn about Jesus, they would trust in Him and find their true identity as children of God.
Barley Flour Dough Balls
Preparation Time: 10 minutes | Serves: 6
- 3 cups decaffeinated tea
- 3 pats of salted butter/margarine (cut in half)
- 3 cups barley/wheat flour
- 2 cups cinnamon-sugar mixture
- 2 serving bowls
- a teacup and spoon for each person
- plastic tablecloth to protect the table
- paper towels, napkins, or wet wipes