Tibetan names typically consist of two juxtaposed elements.
Family names are rare except among those of aristocratic ancestry and then come before the personal name (but diaspora Tibetans living in societies that expect a surname may adopt one). For example, in Ngapoi Ngawang Jigme, Ngapoi was his family name and Nga-Wang Jigmê his personal name.
Tibetan nomads (drokpa) also use clan names; in farming communities, they are now rare and may be replaced by household name.
Tibetan culture is patrilineal; descent is claimed from the four ancient clans that are said to have originally inhabited Ancient Tibet: Se, Rmu, Stong and Ldong. The ancient clan system of Tibet is called rus-ba (རུས་པ), meaning bone or bone lineage.The four clans were further divided into branches which are Dbra, Vgru, Ldong, Lga, Dbas and Brdav. With inter-clan marriages, the subclans were divided into many sub-branches.
While Tibetans from Kham and Amdo use their clan names as surnames, most farming communities in Central Tibet stopped using their clan names centuries ago and instead use household names.
Traditionally, personal names are bestowed upon a child by lamas, who often incorporate an element of their own name. In the Tibetan diaspora, Tibetans often turn to the Dalai Lama for names for their children. As a result, the exile community has an overwhelming population of boys and girls whose first name is "Tenzin", the personal first name of the 14th Dalai Lama.
Personal names are in most cases composed of readily understood Tibetan words. Most personal names may be given to either males or females. Only a few are specifically male or female.
Meanings of some of the common names are listed below:
|བསྟན་འཛིན||bstan 'dzin||Tenzin||holder of the teaching|
|སྐལ ་ བཟང||skal bzang||Kelsang||good fortune, good luck, golden age, (a flower)|
|ཉི་མ||nyi ma||Nyima||sun, day|
|རྡོ་རྗེ||rdo rje||Dorji||indestructable, invincible, Vajra|
|དབྱངས ་ མཚོ||dbyangs mtsho||Yangtso||harmony + lake/ocean|
|ལྷ་མོ||lha mo||Lhamo||princess, lady, goddess, Tibetan opera, opera|
|སྒྲོལ་མ||sgrol ma||Dolma||Tara, goddess|
|པད་མ||pad ma||Pema||Lotus flower|
|རྒྱལ་མཚན||rgyal mtshan||Gyemtsen||banner of victory, the victory banner, one of the eight auspicious symbols|
|ཡེ་ཤེས||ye shes||Yêxê||Yeshe||wisdom, jnana|
|དབང ་ མོ||dbang mo||Wangmô||Wangmo||lady|
|བདེ ་ ཆེན||bde chen||Dêqên||Dechen||great bliss|
Other common Tibetan names include Bhuti, Choedon, Choekyi, Chogden, Chokphel, Damchoe, Dasel, Dema, Dhondup, Dolkar, Gyurmey, Jampa, Jangchup, Jungney, Kalden, Khando, Karma, Kunchok, Kunga, Lekhshey, Lhakpa, Lhakyi, Lhami, Lhawang, Lobsang, Metok, Namdak, Namdol, Namgyal, Ngonga, Norbu, Paljor, Pasang, Peldun, Phuntsok, Phurpa, Rabgang, Rabgyal, Rabten, Rangdol, Rigsang, Rigzin, Samdup, Sangyal, Thinley, Tsomo, Tsundue, Wangchuk, Wangyag, Woeser, Woeten, Yangdol, Yangkey, and Yonten.
Sonam Gyatso was the first to be named Dalai Lama, although the title was retrospectively given to his two predecessors.
Tsangyang Gyatso was the 6th Dalai Lama. He was an unconventional Dalai Lama that preferred the lifestyle of a crazy wisdom yogi to that of an ordained monk. His regent was killed before he was kidnapped by Lha-bzang Khan of the Khoshut Khanate and disappeared, presumably murdered.
Ngawang Lobzang Jampel Tsultrim Gyatso or Tsultrim Gyatso was the 10th Dalai Lama of Tibet, and born in Chamdo. He was fully ordained in the Gelug school of Tibetan Buddhism, studied the sutras and tantras, had several students, and rebuilt the Potala Palace.
Lobsang Trinley Lhündrub Chökyi Gyaltsen, ; was the tenth Panchen Lama, officially the 10th Panchen Erdeni, of the Gelug school of Tibetan Buddhism. According to Tibetan Buddhism, Panchen Lamas are living emanations of the buddha Amitabha. He was often referred to simply as Choekyi Gyaltsen.
Kelzang Gyatso, also spelled Kalzang Gyatso, Kelsang Gyatso and Kezang Gyatso, was the 7th Dalai Lama of Tibet, recognized as the true incarnation of the 6th Dalai Lama, and enthroned after a pretender was deposed.
Sera Monastery is one of the "great three" Gelug university monasteries of Tibet, located 1.25 miles (2.01 km) north of Lhasa and about 5 km (3.1 mi) north of the Jokhang. The other two are Ganden Monastery and Drepung Monastery. The origin of its name is attributed to a fact that during construction, the hill behind the monastery was covered with blooming wild roses.
The Seventeen Point Agreement, also called the Agreement of the Central People's Government and the Local Government of Tibet on Measures for the Peaceful Liberation of Tibet, or the Seventeen Point Agreement for the Peaceful Liberation of Tibet for short, is the document by which the delegates of the 14th Dalai Lama, sovereign of the de facto state of Tibet, reached an agreement in 1951 with the Central People's Government of the newly established People's Republic of China on affirming Chinese sovereignty over Tibet.
The Nechung Oracle is the State Oracle of Tibet. The medium of the State Oracle currently resides with the current Dalai Lama in Dharamsala, India. Prior to the Himalayan diaspora resulting from the annexation of Tibet by the People's Republic of China, the Nechung Oracle was the designated head of the Nechung monastery in Tibet.
Taktser or Tengtser or Hongya Village is a village in Shihuiyao Township, Ping'an District, Haidong, in the east of Qinghai province, China,. Tibetan, Han and Hui Chinese people populate the village which is notable as the birthplace of the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso.
Thubten Jigme Norbu, recognised as the Taktser Rinpoche, was a Tibetan lama, writer, civil rights activist and professor of Tibetan studies and was the eldest brother of the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso. He was one of the first high-profile Tibetans to go into exile and was the first to settle in the United States.
Ngapoi Ngawang Jigme was a Tibetan senior official who assumed various military and political responsibilities both before and after 1951 in Tibet. He is often known simply as Ngapo in English sources.
Tradruk Temple in the Yarlung Valley is the earliest great geomantic temple after the Jokhang and some sources say it predates that temple.
The annexation of Tibet by the People's Republic of China, called the "Peaceful Liberation of Tibet" by the Chinese government, and the "Chinese invasion of Tibet" by the Central Tibetan Administration and the Tibetan people, was the process by which the People's Republic of China (PRC) gained control of Tibet.
Lhamo Latso or Lha-mo La-tso is a small oval oracle lake where senior Tibetan monks of the Gelug sect go for visions to assist in the discovery of reincarnations of the Dalai Lamas. Other pilgrims also come to seek visions. It is considered to be the most sacred lake in Tibet.
Yeshe Gyatso (1686–1725) was a pretender for the position of the 6th Dalai Lama of Tibet. Declared by Lha-bzang Khan of the Khoshut Khanate on June 28, 1707, he was the only unofficial Dalai Lama. While praised for his personal moral qualities, he was not recognized by the bulk of the Tibetans and Mongols and is not counted in the official list of the Dalai Lamas.
Chupzang Nunnery(Chu bzang dgon) is a historical nunnery, belonging to Sera Monastery. It is located north of Lhasa in Tibet, China. Though the site was established as a hermitage around 1665, it was converted into an exclusive nunnery in 1984 and has since grown into one of the largest nunneries in the Lhasa Valley.
Negodong Nunnery is a historical hermitage, belonging to Sera Monastery. It is located in the northeastern Lhasa suburb known as Dodé Valley, northeast of Sera, Tibet. Buddhist scholar of the Sera Jé College’s Gomdé Regional House, Nam mkha’ rgyal mtshan. It was initially founded as a monastery with seventeen monks but later allotted for exclusive use as nunnery to provide personal security to the nuns who were then residing in a remote nunnery at Gnas nang, away from the present location at Gnas sgo gdong.
A brief chronology of the history of Tibet:
The Tibetan Army was the military force of Tibet after its de facto independence in 1912 until the 1950s. As a ground army modernised with the assistance of British training and equipment, it served as the de facto armed forces of the Tibetan government.