Post written by Caiya, a United Planet team member.
It is a joyous thing to have a new baby in a family. Babies not only bring us joy but also hope. Parents will do their very best to ensure that their baby has a bright future.
In Tibet, before the baby is born, it is customary to ask Lama to tell where the best birthplace is for the child. A Lama in Yushu told us that the best place for my grandson was in Yushu. Afterwards, we invited monks to pray for the unborn baby’s health and intelligence.
Throughout the pregnancy, he mother isn’t allowed to eat anything she wants. She is forbidden to eat meat from other families or meat from animal’s that were killed by wolves. It is widely believed that if a mother eats this meat, the baby will be stillborn or the baby’s gender will change. Instead, expectant mothers will often drink butter tea and broths which have been made by their own families.
During the birth, there are many things that Tibetans do to help relieve the mother’s pain and to ensure the baby’s future health. We use butter which is round and has been blessed by a Lama as ocytocic to stimulate contractions and ease the birth. If the baby is a boy we use a white kip to wrap him up. If it is a girl, we use a black kip. For protection, we also sew an amulet onto the swaddling clothes.
Once the baby is carried home we put butter on his head and bring him to the family temple. This is so Buddha will bless the infant and bring him good luck. Then, when the baby is a month old, he is given a name by either a Lama or elder member of the family. After 100 days, Tibetans are finally allowed to take photos of the infant. It is believed that if photos are taken earlier the baby will get sick.
Many beautiful wishes will be sent to the baby. However, the most important wishes come from the parents. They should send all their best hopes to their children, because it is believed that parents’ hopes are pure-hearted and will come true.