1936 - 1937 Mission Diary

The official diary of the Gould mission to Lhasa sent by the British government. Read more about the mission diary.

15th September, Tuesday, Lhasa.

see photographs below

To the regret of everyone, Colonel Neame left at 6-30 A.M. on the first stage of his forced march back to India. A Guard of Honour, Under Yutok Depon, was turned out for him near the Norbu Lingka.

Nepean, Chapman and Richardson rode out about four miles to see him on his way. As we went out, a stream of monks was pouring in towards Lhasa from Drepung monastery. Mounted in the straggling procession were the Provosts (Shengos) in scarlet robes and yellow, crest-like, hats, preceded by their stalwart mace bearers whose stentorian bellowing rapidly cleared the road. The Abbot and other dignitaries, including an Incarnation, followed after, each with his retinue of mounted servants in yellow woollen hats a foot high or the red tasselled hat of the ordinary lay servant.

All were going, on this last day of the Tibetan seventh month, to the Potala, to drink ceremonial tea and received the blessing of the Regent, after which they will be free from their monastery for a holiday which varies from ten to fifteen days according to the wealth of each monastic college. The richer the college the longer the holiday. Many of the monks were carrying sheeps' carcasses and boxes, presumably containing cooking pots, evidence that they would spend at least part of their time in the popular Lhasa amusement of picnicking. It is said that this holiday is also the occasion for a much needed bath.

Author: Hugh Richardson [see handwritten annotations in Diary by Hugh Richardson in MS. Or. Richardson 2, Bodleian Libary, Department of Oriental Collections, University of Oxford]

Page Reference: Pt VI p.2

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