Meaning of TIBET in English

Tibetan Bod, in full Tibet Autonomous Region, Chinese (WadeGiles) Hsi-tsang Tzu-chih-ch', or (Pinyin) Xizang Zizhiqu , historic region and autonomous region of China that is often referred to as the roof of the world. It is bounded by the Chinese provinces of Szechwan to the east, Yunnan to the southeast, and Tsinghai to the northeast; the Sinkiang Uighur autonomous region of China to the northwest; the disputed state of Jammu and Kashmir to the west; and India, Nepal, Bhutan, and Myanmar (Burma) to the south. Tibet is situated on a high plateau surrounded by enormous mountain ranges. The relatively level northern part of the plateau is called the Northern Plain, and it extends more than 800 miles (1,300 km) from west to east at an elevation of 15,000 feet (4,600 m). It is bordered on the north by the Kunlun Mountains. The western and southern border of the Plateau of Tibet is formed by the Himalayan mountain ranges, which include Mount Everest, the world's highest known peak, rising to 29,028 feet (8,848 m) on the Nepal border. North of Lake Mapam and stretching eastward is the Trans-Himalaya range, several of whose peaks exceed 20,000 feet (6,100 m). These are separated from the Himalayas by the Brahmaputra River, which flows across southern Tibet and then cuts south through the mountians to India. Tibet's climate is generally dry and has a low humidity. Temperatures in the high elevations are cold, but those in the lower valleys are mild. The greatest temperature differences occur during a 24-hour period, with bitter cold in early morning and night aggravated by gale winds that blow throughout the year. However, because of the cool dry air, grain can be safely stored for 50 to 60 years, dried raw meat can be preserved for more than a year, and epidemics are rare. The majority of Tibetans have the same ethnic origin, practice the same religion, and speak the same language. The basic economic groups have been the nomads, seminomads, agriculturalists, and forest dwellers. There are also traders, craftsmen, government officials, monks, and nuns. In Lhasa there was a special caste group that earned its living by begging and by disposing of corpses. These castes were not rigid; monks, for example, could also be government officials. Social divisions existed between the peasantry and the nobility, the latter's status being based on heredity. The overwhelming majority of the population were peasants. Before the 1950s Tibet was a unique entity that sought isolation from the rest of the world. It had its own culture and its own religion, encompassed by Tibetan Buddhism and the Tibetan language. Economic development, in Western terms, was minimal. In 1950 China invaded and occupied Tibet. China attempted to modernize Tibet by undermining the authority of the Tibetan Buddhist church hierarchy and by building roads, bridges, hospitals, and schools. Tibetan resentment exploded in a popular uprising in 1959 at the region's capital city of Lhasa, and after this was suppressed the Chinese forcibly attempted to remake Tibetan society, confiscating the property of the nobility and the church, collectivizing agriculture, and completely suppressing the public practice of Buddhism. Some relaxation in China's rule was evident in the mid-1980s. Although Tibet is rich in mineral resources, its economy has remained underdeveloped. Because of the difficult terrain and severe climate, agricultural activity has also been hampered. Staple crops include barley, wheat, millet, buckwheat, beans, hemp, and mustard. Butter from the yak or the mdzo-mo (a crossbreed of the yak and the cow) is the main dairy product. Tibetans supplement their diet with garden produce, including radishes, turnips, carrots, potatoes, peas, parsley, lettuce, tomatoes, cabbage, garlic, onions, mint, celery, cauliflower, pumpkins, squash, and eggplant. Imported foods include tea, sugar, and rice, although some rice is raised in the southeast. Forests, because they are inaccessible, are largely unexploited. Before 1951, most Tibetans traveled on foot or on the backs of animals. Coracles (small boats made of wicker and hides) were used to cross the larger rivers. After the Chinese took over, a network of motor roads was constructed, notably the Tsinghai and Szechwan highways. There has been air service between Tibet and Peking since 1956. Postal and telegraphic service is limited. Area 471,700 square miles (1,221,600 square km). Pop. (1988 est.) 2,079,000. Tibetan Bod, in full Tibet Autonomous Region, Chinese (Wade-Giles) Hsi-tsang Tzu-chih-ch', (Pinyin) Xizang Zizhiqu historic region and autonomous region of China that is often called the roof of the world. It occupies about 471,700 square miles (1,221,600 square kilometres) of the plateaus and mountains of Central Asia, including Mount Everest (Chu-mu-lang-ma Feng). It is bordered by the Chinese provinces of Tsinghai to the northeast, Szechwan to the east, and Yunnan to the southeast; Myanmar (Burma), India, Bhutan, and Nepal to the south; the disputed territory of Jammu and Kashmir to the west; and the Uighur Autonomous Region of Sinkiang to the northwest. Lhasa is the capital city. The name Tibet is derived from the Mongolian Thubet, the Chinese Tufan, the Tai Thibet, and the Arabic Tubbat. Before the 1950s Tibet was a unique entity that sought isolation from the rest of the world. It constituted a cultural and religious whole, marked by the Tibetan language and Tibetan Buddhism. Little effort was made to facilitate communication with other countries, and economic development was minimal. After its incorporation into China, fitful efforts at development took place in Tibet, disrupted by ethnic tension between the Han (Chinese) and Tibetans and Tibetan resistance to the imposition of Marxist values. Official policy since the early 1980s has been somewhat more conciliatory, resulting in slightly better Han-Tibetan relations and greater opportunities for economic development and tourism. Tsepon W.D. Shakabpa Victor C. Falkenheim History According to legend the Tibetan people originated from the union of a monkey and a female demon. The Chinese T'ang annals (10th century) place the Tibetans' origin among the nomadic, pastoral Ch'iang tribes recorded about 200 BC as inhabiting the great steppe northwest of China. That region, where diverse racial elements met and mingled for centuries, may be accepted as the original homeland of the Tibetans, but until at least the 7th century AD they continued to mix, by conquest or alliance, with other peoples. From that heritage two strains in particular stand outthe brachycephalic, or round-headed, peoples and the dolichocephalic, or long-headed, peoples. The former, which predominate in the cultivated valleys, may have derived from the Huang Ho basin and be akin to the early Chinese and Burmese; the latter, found mainly among the nomads of the north and in the noble families of Lhasa, seem to have affinities with the Turkic peoples, whose primitive wandering grounds were farther to the north. In addition, there are Dardic and Indian strains in the west, and along the eastern Himalayan border there are connections with a complex of tribal peoples known to the Tibetans as Mon. From the 7th to the 9th century the Tibetan kingdom was a power to be reckoned with in Central Asia. When that kingdom disintegrated, Tibetans figured there from the 10th to the 13th century only casually as traders and raiders. The patronage of Tibetan Buddhism by the Yan, or Mongol, dynasty of China made it a potential spiritual focus for the disunited tribes of Mongolia. This religious significance became of practical importance only in the 18th century when the Oyrat, who professed Tibetan Buddhism, threatened the authority of the Ch'ing dynasty throughout Mongolia. In the 19th century Tibet was a buffer between Russian imperial expansion and India's frontier defense policy. Early history to the 9th century Credible history begins late in the 6th century, when three discontented vassals of one of the princes among whom Tibet was then divided conspired to support the neighbouring lord of Yar-lung, whose title was Spu-rgyal btsan-po. Btsan-po (mighty) became the designation of all kings of Tibet (rgyal means king; and spu, the meaning of which is uncertain, may refer to a sacral quality of the princes of Yar-lung as divine manifestations). Their new master, Gnam-ri srong-brtsan, was transformed from a princeling in a small valley into the ruler of a vigorously expanding military empire. Gnam-ri srong-brtsan (c. AD 570c. 619) imposed his authority over several Ch'iang tribes on the Chinese border and became known to the Sui dynasty (581618) as the commander of 100,000 warriors. But it was his son, Srong-brtsan-sgam-po (c. 608650), who brought Tibet forcibly to the notice of T'ai-tsung (reigned 626649), of the T'ang dynasty. To pacify him, T'ang T'ai-tsung granted him a princess as his bride. Srong-brtsan-sgam-po is famed as the first chos-rgyal (religious king) and for his all-important influence on Tibetan culture, the introduction of writing for which he borrowed a script from India, enabling the texts of the new religion to be translated. He extended his empire over Nepal, western Tibet, the T'u-y-hun, and other tribes on China's border; and he invaded north India. In 670, 20 years after Srong-brtsan-sgam-po's death, peace with China was broken and for two centuries Tibetan armies in Tsinghai and Sinkiang kept the frontier in a state of war. In alliance with the western Turks, the Tibetans challenged Chinese control of the trade routes through Central Asia. The reign of Khri-srong-lde-brtsan (755797) marked the peak of Tibetan military success, including the exaction of tribute from China and capture of its capital, Ch'ang-an, in 763. But it was as the second religious king and champion of Buddhism that Khri-srong-lde-brtsan was immortalized by posterity. In 763, when he was 21, he invited Buddhist teachers from India and China to Tibet, and c. 779 he established the great temple of Bsam-yas, where Tibetans were trained as monks. Buddhism foreshadowed the end of Spu-rgyal's Tibet. The kings did not fully appreciate that its spiritual authority endangered their own supernatural prestige or that its philosophy was irreconcilable with belief in personal survival. They patronized Buddhist foundations but retained their claims as divine manifestations.

Britannica English vocabulary.      Английский словарь Британика.