News & Notes 690:The Salty Tea

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690 icon.jpg   News & Notes 690
11 March 2017

The Salty Tea

“The three-hour ritual of tea making at Leh’s Lamayuru monastery (Ladakh): involving water, salt, some tea, a 500-gram block of butter, to mix the tea and butter” (The Hindu 12.2.2017, Sunday magazine, p.2).

For many years I have been preparing tea for Aspiration community, for the residents and for guests. It is a common tea with milk. People usually put some sugar in their cups. Once I visited the Tibetan Pavilion and saw many Tibetan children around Kalsang and Namgalh. They were drinking tea and Namgalh proposed a cup of tea for me. It was Aurovilian tea with milk and sugar. I said: “I was in Tibet” – “Oh!” – “In my dream” – “Ah!” In the dream I drank Tibetan salty tea with butter, the yaks (wooly animals) were around me.

Namgalh presented me the Tibetan calendar. According to it the New Year for the Tibetans started in 2017 on the 27th, 28th of February and on the 1st of March (for three days). It is a Fire-Bird Year. The previous 2016 year was the Snake Year. For the Chinese and Japanese the New Year (Year of the Rooster) according to the lunar calendar started on the 28th of January. I’m sure that in Japan and China they use tea without salt.

Some people don’t drink tea. It is a rajasic food. If the tea is strong it acts like drug.

There is in Japan the tea ritual, a ceremony with tea and with geishas. I hope a geisha will be in Auroville too. In Russia a special tool for the preparing of tea was popular – a samovar. Maybe we in future we can see a samovar in our city.