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Tibet facts for kids

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Map of Tibet (in red) and China

Tibet, also called the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR), is a province-level autonomous region of the People's Republic of China (PRC). Its capital is Lhasa.

Tibet's religion is Buddhism. Their traditions make it a place of interest to many people. The local monks are sometimes said to have special, superhuman abilities. The writings of Tibetan monks are sometimes shared with outsiders, and are known for their insight. The Tibetan Book of the Dead contains rituals for the dead and dying, somewhat similar to the Catholic last rites.

The religious leader of Tibet's Buddhists is called the Dalai Lama. He was forced to leave the country when the Chinese Army took over. The Dalai Lama presently lives in exile in India, but often visits other countries.

Tibet becomes part of China

Tibet was independent until the 1950s. Earlier Tibet had been part of China since the Mongolian Yuan Dynasty.

Political divisions

Tibet is divided into 2 municipalities (地级市) and five autonomous prefectures (自治州).

  • Lhasa (拉萨)
  • Xigaze (日喀则)
  • Ngari Prefecture (阿里地区)
  • Nagqu Prefecture (那曲地区)
  • Chamdo Prefecture (昌都地区)
  • Nyingchi Prefecture (林芝地区)
  • Lhoka Prefecture (山南地区)

Influence outside Tibet

Tibetan culture also influences other regions nearby, such as Nepal, Bhutan, parts of eastern Kashmir and some regions in northern most Republic of India, most notably Sikkim, Uttaranchal and Tawang . China claims part of the Indian province of Arunachal Pradesh as South Tibet.


Potala Palace, August 2009
The Potala Palace in Lhasa

There has been some protests in Tibet since China took control in the 1950s. Most of them have been because of social or economic problems. Some of them have been because there are people who believe Tibet should not be a part of China. To show their resistance, many Tibetans set themselves on fire to put the Chinese government under pressure to become independent again. In 2011, 19 people killed themselves. A railway line, the Qingzang railway, has been built, linking China to Lhasa. Also, rising prices of food, and difficult access to higher education have angered many people. The railway line also raised fears about more migration. This situation has led to some violence against people from outside Tibet. Some of this violence occurs outside Tibet. When it comes to assigning government posts in Tibet, more Chinese seem to be assigned, and fewer Tibetans. The Chinese Government claims that if Tibet became independent again, its economy would suffer.

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