Tingkhye (ting-kay): A village in Tibet
Tingkhye ("deep birth") sits nestled between two valleys, high in the Himalayas in the Shigatse region of western Tibet. Sitting at an elevation of approximately 15,000 feet and an eight hour drive from the nearest city, Tingkhye is surrounded by an open, beautifully rugged landscape.
Tingkhye was founded in the 12th century by Indian and Tibetan yogis who settled in the area. Its Buddhist monastery, which serves to this day as a community center for the village, dates from the 14th century. Today, close to 3,000 people live in and around Tingkhye, making their living by farming and raising livestock. Children typically attend the local school beginning at age seven or eight, and most villagers marry in their late teens or early twenties. Family ties are important in Tingkhye, and extended families often live together and support each other.
Life in Tingkhye is very traditional, but also very difficult. Poverty is widespread, and healthcare and sanitation are minimal. Tibet Sky Village Foundation seeks to alleviate some of the hardships the villagers endure, while ensuring they maintain their self-sufficiency and agency.