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  • Guoying Stacy Zhang

A Journey Through 5,000 Years of Tibetan History and Culture at the Capital Museum in Beijing

Tibet is not only romanticized in the West, but also among people of China. Situated on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, the highest plateau on Earth, Tibet is seen as a sacred place close to heaven. While China is going through dramatic economic and social changes, many Han Chinese are turning to Tibetan Buddhism for spiritual guidance. They are also sponsoring the activities of Buddhist masters from Tibetan regions, including building monasteries and printing books. However, a comprehensive understanding of Tibet is still lacking, even among the most pious Buddhists.

To showcase the richness and diversity of Tibetan culture, the Capital Museum in Beijing opened a special exhibition titled The Culture of Sky Road—Exhibition of Tibetan History and Culture on 27 February. Sponsored by the People’s Government of Beijing Municipality and the People’s Government of Tibet Autonomous Region, the exhibition is co-organized by the Beijing Municipal Administration of Cultural Heritage and the Tibet Autonomous Region Administration of Cultural Heritage. Some 216 cultural relics from 21 organizations in Tibet, Beijing, Chongqing, Hebei, and Qinghai have been gathered for the exhibition. Among them, 180 exhibits are from museums and monasteries in Tibetan regions. Many of the objects have been kept in prominent monastic collections for centuries, including Jokhang Monastery (大昭寺), Tashi Lhunpo Monastery (扎什伦布寺), Sakya Monastery (萨迦寺), Shalu Monastery (夏鲁寺), Mindrolling Monastery (敏珠林寺), Densatil Monastery (丹萨梯寺), Gurugyam Monastery (故如甲寺), and have never been displayed to the public before.

The Culture of Sky Road—Exhibition of Tibetan History and Culture, Capital Museum, Beijing.
Photo by the author

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