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Khada: a cultural icon of Tibetan people (Ⅱ)
2014-04-10 11:11:00
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by: Lethe Guo
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Photo shows the 11th Panchen Lama take over the kh
Photo shows the 11th Panchen Lama takes over the khada presented to him by a lama, and give it back to the old monk. To present khadas to rinpoches, one needs to bend down even to 90 degrees and hold the khada with both hands higher than his head to show respect. Generally this khada is put on the hands of the receiver, the altar in front of him, or to his escort. The seniors or rinpoches would take the khada and put it on the neck of the presenter, which stands for a religious consecration. [Photo/Chinanews.com]

The etiquette of presenting khadas is delicate and exquisite. For people at different ages with various titles, the manners to present khada also vary.

Etiquette of presenting khada

To consecrate khada to Buddha, one needs to bend over with his arms holding the khada above his head, and present it on Buddha's feet, legs, or on the siege and altar. It's forbidden to put the khada on Buddha's head or shoulders.

Sometimes, khadas are used to wrap up Buddha's face when a Buddha statue is presented as a gift. Only the receiver can reveal the khada, which is a consecration and religious rite to welcome the Buddha home.

To present khadas to high-ranking lamas, seniors and rinpoches, one needs to bend down even to 90 degrees and hold the khada with both hands higher than his head to show respect. Generally this khada is put on the hands of the receiver, the altar in front of him, or to his escort. The seniors or high-ranking lamas would take the khada and put it on the neck of the presenter, which stands for a religious consecration.

To present khadas to one's peers, one also needs to bend down and put the khada on the arms of the receiver, and for juniors on the shoulders. The receiver needs to bend down as well and take the khada with both hands to show appreciation.

Nowadays, such manners have altered a little bit. For peers or juniors, one can present the khada on their neck. Only when presenting khadas to seniors, one needs to bend down and offer the khada on the receivers' hands and then they'd put it on the presenter's neck or turn it to their escorts.

Generally, it's not appropriate to turn the khadas presented by others, especially those returned and put on one's neck, to other people right away.

In the past, there was a very strict rule on using khadas. Khadas of different textures, sizes, and colors could be used exclusively for people with different social status. Any mistake in following the rule would lead to severe punishment.

For example, the top class khada was exclusively used by the Kashag (the local government in Old Tibet) to present to the Dalai Lama on Losar (Tibetan New Year) and significant festivals. Common people could only use khadas with poor quality to wrap up money and present to lamas when attending a scripture teaching in monasteries.

The etiquette of presenting khadas has been inherited and advanced with the times to be more humane. If it was in the past, people often present khada to the person in charge or the most influential person of a group to show their respect of the person' status according to the strict rule. But now, unless there were extremely esteemed personages like rinpoches, people in Tibet would present khadas to all visiting guests, which can be a reflection of the concept of equality in modern society.

Photo shows villagers from in Tibet's Nagqu Prefec
Photo shows villagers from in Tibet's Nagqu Prefecture welcome visiting guests from the "Colorful Tibet Summer Tour - Photographers See Tibet in Four Seasons" by presenting white khadas to all of them. [Photo/China Tibet Online] 


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