22 Nov 2012

Lunch meeting: Travels in Tibet with Rtn Rebecca

We had two birthday boys today, PP Thomas and Rtn Fali, IPP Martin led us sang the birthday song to them and President Michael presented a bottle of red wine to them.

The speaker of today was Rtn Rebecca Howe and she talked “Twenty One Days in Tibet” with us.  Rtn Rebecca went to Tibet with five ladies some years ago, she showed us a lot of beautiful pictures and describe her wonderful trip to us.

Tibet is a plateau region in Asia, north-east of the Himalayas. It is the traditional homeland of the Tibetan people as well as some other ethnic groups such asMonpas, Qiang, and Lhobas, and is now also inhabited by considerable numbers of Han and Hui people. Tibet is the highest region on earth, with an average elevation of 4,900 metres (16,000 ft).  Tibet has some of the world’s tallest mountains, with several of them making the top ten list. Mount Everest, at 8,848 metres (29,029 ft), is the highest mountain on earth, located on the border with Nepal. Several major rivers have their source in the Tibetan Plateau (mostly in present-day Qinghai Province). These include Yangtze, Yellow River, Indus River, Mekong, Ganges, Salween and the Yarlung Tsangpo River (Brahmaputra River).

Religion is extremely important to the Tibetans and has a strong influence over all aspects of their lives. Bön is the ancient religion of Tibet, but has been almost eclipsed by Tibetan Buddhism, a distinctive form of Mahayana and Vajrayana, which was introduced into Tibet from the Sanskrit Buddhist tradition of northern India.  Tibetan Buddhism is practiced not only in Tibet but also in Mongolia, parts of northern India, the Buryat Republic, the Tuva Republic, and in the Republic of Kalmykia and some other parts of China. During China’s Cultural Revolution, nearly all Tibet’s monasteries were ransacked and destroyed by the Red Guards. A few monasteries have begun to rebuild since the 1980s and greater religious freedom has been granted – although it is still limited. Monks returned to monasteries across Tibet and monastic education resumed even though the number of monks imposed is strictly limited. Before 1950s, between 10 and 20% of males in Tibet were monks.

We collected HK$1,040 for raffle and fines, Rtn Rebecca draw the raffle gift as a box of Golf Balls and the winner was herself.