Tibetan culture and society is rooted in pastoralism. The population outside cities is mostly nomadic, though many are both nomads and farmers, and others, exclusively farmers. Whatever their roots, Tibetans have a deep love for the outdoors and their ultimate vision of a good time is in a beautiful pasture at the height of summer, enjoying the proximity of bubbling streams and expanses of wild flowers. For city dwellers, picnics that last up to two weeks were and still are the prime form of enjoyment. This was done in style and comfort and families would pack up furniture, table ware and kitchen ware and move to the riverside where they spent a few happy days cooking, dancing and playing games.
Since travel has always been a feature of Tibetan life, tents were and important feature and allowed for elaborate events to take place in any chosen spot.
Sometime in the last century, someone in Lhasa came up with the picnic tent concept. Made of white canvas appliquéd with blue or black curlicue or other traditional motifs, the new picnic tent was designed for leisure and was instantly popular for both monks and the lay population. The most celebrated one in living memory was that used to welcome the 14th Dalai Lama when he arrived in Central Tibet from his native Amdo in 1940.
Norbulingka has a long tent-making history. Very popular with kids, our stand alone room tents can also be pitched in the garden. Our latest version is in a squared off teepee shape, a cozy corner that is attractive and can be put up in minutes in any setting, indoors or outdoors on a sunny day. Easily collapsible, it takes up minimum space. Our tent is made of sturdy canvas silk screened in house at Norbulingka in two unique designs: The curlicue motifs are inspired from the traditional Tibetan tents, while the yaks are an inspiration of Tibet’s pastoral history. Each teepee comes with a matching floor mat and cushion.