Tibetan, Gtsang in Nepal





Largest Religion

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Almost 700,000 Tibetans belong to the Gtsang Tibetan language group. They are located in a wide geographical area, stretching east to west over roughly the entire length of the Tibet-Nepal border. Gtsang is spoken in the cities of Xigaze and Gyantse, the second and fourth largest cities in Tibet respectively. The main attraction of Gyantse is the immense pagoda, or Kumbun, built by Rapten Kunsang Phapa (1389–1442). Approximately 60,000 Gtsang Tibetans also live in Nepal, throughout northern parts of the country as well as in Kathmandu, the nation's capital.

The Gtsang Tibetan language—which has 10 dialects—is a variety of Central Tibetan. It is largely intelligible with Lhasa and Ngahri Tibetan, although speakers can struggle to communicate with each other depending on their accents and how much exposure they have had to other varieties of Central Tibetan. Despite their differences in speech, all Tibetans use the same Sanskrit-based orthography. In the 7th century, King Songtsen Gampo sent his minister, Thonmi Sambhota, to India, where he produced the script.


Xigaze, the capital of Tibet from 1618 to 1642, is the traditional seat of the Panchen Lama, Tibet's second most powerful ruler after the Dalai Lama. In 1954 the city was nearly destroyed by floods. After putting down a revolt in 1959, the Chinese imprisoned 400 monks in the Tashilhunpo Monastery.


The Xigaze New Year festival is held in the first week of the 12th lunar month. Thousands of visitors have flocked to Gyantse since 1408 for the annual horse racing and archery show. Captain O'Conner, the British trade agent at Gyantse in the early 1900s, described the Gtsang Tibetans as 'superstitious indeed to the last degree, but devoid of any deep-rooted religious convictions or heart-searchings, oppressed by the most monstrous growth of monasticism and priest-craft which the world has ever seen.'


The Gtsang region is home to several Buddhist sects, including the Nyingmapa (Ancient), Kagyupa (Oral Transmission) and Sakya (Gray Earth) schools. After the death of the Panchen Lama in 1989, the Chinese filled his position with their own choice of successor. In May 1995, the exiled Dalai Lama announced a new Panchen Lama who was immediately rejected by the Chinese. Monks at the Tashilhunpo Monastery and a number of lay Tibetans rioted in protest. Eighty monks were interrogated by the police, and the city of Xigatse was sealed off for several days.


Jesuit missionary Antonio de Andrade arrived in Tibet from India in 1624 by disguising himself as a Hindu pilgrim. 'Andrade outwitted hostile local officials, made his way north to the Himalayas, endured altitude sickness and snow blindness, fought his way over a 17,900-foot pass into Tibet, and finally reached Tsaparang. There he impressed the king and queen with his piety, and they gave him permission to return, establish a mission, and preach the Gospel.' A revolution in Tsaparang in 1635 abruptly ended the Jesuit mission. Today there are a few Gtsang Tibetan Christians.

Profile Source:   Peoples of the Buddhist World, Paul Hattaway  Copyrighted ©   Used with permission  

Prayer Links
Global Prayer Digest: 2013-11-13
People Name General Tibetan, Gtsang (Git-zung)
People Name in Country Tibetan, Gtsang
Population in Nepal 58,000
World Population 803,000
Countries 3
Progress Scale 1.1
Least-Reached Yes
Indigenous Yes
Alternate Names Bhotia, Gyantse, Sagka, Sagya, Tsang, Xigatse Tibetan, Xigatse Tibetans, Xigatze
Affinity Bloc Tibetan-Himalayan Peoples
People Cluster Tibetan
People Name General Tibetan, Gtsang (Git-zung)
Ethnic Code MSY50r
People ID 18698
Country Nepal
Region South Asia
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
Persecution Rank Not ranked
Location in Country Kathmandu and Pokhara..   Source:  www.ethnologue.com
Languages & Dialects on file:  1  (up to 20 largest shown)
Tibetan, Central: Gtsang (58,000)
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Tibetan, Central: Gtsang 58,000

For Main Lanugage: Tibetan, Central

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible Portions Yes   (1862-1991)
New Testament Yes   (1885-1973)
Complete Bible Yes   (1948)
Resource Format
Audio Bible teaching (GRN) Audio Recordings
Fathers Love Letter Audio Recordings
Four Spiritual Laws General
God's Story Video Film / Video
Jesus Film: view in Tibetan, Central Film / Video
Story of Jesus audio (Jesus Film Project) Audio Recordings
Story of Jesus for Children (JF Project) Film / Video
The Hope Video Film / Video
Primary Religion: Buddhism
Religion Subdivision: Tibetan

Major Religion Percent
99.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.01 %)
0.01 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.99 %

Christian Segments Percent
0.0 %
0.0 %
0.0 %
Other Christian
0.0 %
0.0 %
Roman Catholic
0.0 %
Photo Source: Anonymous  
Map Source: Omid / Joshua Project / Global Mapping Intl  
Video Source: Create International
Profile Source: Peoples of the Buddhist World, Paul Hattaway  Copyrighted ©   Used with permission  
Data Sources: Data is compiled from various sources. Read more

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