Marieke ten Wolde's blog

Documentary photography, and other things interesting enough to bother you with

Tibet travel log 5, Respect the books

with 4 comments

Do not put books on the floor, do not sit on books, do not step over books, do not place anything on top of books, keep food and drinks away from books. Respect the books.

I once took my travel guide book from the dashboard in the car where it was cooking in the sun into the shade on the floor, actually to protect it. My driver was very upset: do not put books on the floor. ‘OK, but it is just a guide book and the sun …’, ‘do not put books on the floor’. Later that night, I realised my guide book even had a preface with drawing from the Dalai Lama, luckily my driver did not know. Otherwise, I fear, the book would not even have been allowed to be stuffed in my camera bag. I have no idea where I then should have kept it, in that hot and dusty car.

There are many reasons why I like Tibetans and their great respect for books is definitely one of them. Monks and nuns stuff their often tiny quarters with all sorts of books including Buddhist teachings, explanations and philosophy.
I found that also lay people often own and read books, even when they have their mobiles with the messaging systems, their TV’s and Internet. I have been in the winter homes of Tibetan nomads in Kham where a complete wall was covered with religious books.
The great complaint I always heard is that there are not enough books published in Tibetan, so they are precious possessions and are passed along and read over and over again.

Praying sitting under the book shelfs, making sure to always stay lower then the books.

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4 Responses

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  1. I’m loving you Tibet posts, they’re wonderful and bring back some fantastic memories of my own trip there in 2005.
    I’m really enjoying following your blog so I’ve nominated you for a One Lovely Blog award! Have a look at my post http://puffinclaire.wordpress.com/2012/07/06/one-lovely-blog-award/ to find out more about it. Have a wonderful day! x

    puffinclaire

    July 6, 2012 at 18:20

    • Thank you Claire, I will keep on going with the Travel logs and I hope that will trigger some more happy memories. I had a look at your blog and the ‘one lovely blog award’, I will get into that but it might take a few days… to think about those 7 things!

      Marieke ten Wolde

      July 6, 2012 at 20:51

  2. Lovely shot ! This is such an amazing place … where was it taken ? I love it. I’ll be posting some of my Tibetan shots soon 🙂

    Photo Media

    July 6, 2012 at 10:12

    • This was in a very remote temple about 400 km east of Lhasa. The old farmers were praying days on end for a good next season.
      I look forward to your photo’s!

      Marieke ten Wolde

      July 6, 2012 at 13:07


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