Recently we were required to draw up a company organisational chart. This was a strange exercise for us because we’ve never operated or thought of our staff in a hierarchical way. Our restaurant evolved from a takeaway in our home to a market stall where customers and friends eventually became paid-up members of the team.
The Taste Tibet restaurant has been an extension of this: we see our staff as equals, each contributing what they can to help keep the ship afloat. Everybody has something unique to bring to the operation, and everyone mucks in. Nobody is spared the washing up, and Yeshi is always the last man sweeping floors at the end of the night.
Traditional Tibetan society worked in this way. The Chinese claim that they “liberated” Tibetans from feudal serfdom, but the situation is far less black and white than it would appear. It is true that high-ranking lamas and secular landowners boasted extraordinary wealth back in the day, but there wasn’t much to spend it on – the razzmatazz of modern life just didn’t exist in Tibet until recent years. One person might have more horses or cattle than the next, more land or more grain, but there were limits to how much food he could eat, clothes he could wear or servants he could use. What the master had – food, horses etc. – would be shared between the entire household for general consumption and use.
Anything left over was given to the monasteries, to travelling pilgrims and to beggars – a great way to earn out good karma. These donations sustained the people who were born into penury and those who chose mendicancy over a life of feudal labour. Functioning in this way, society was actually lot flatter than it appeared.
The problem now is that the Chinese have effectively outlawed begging. In doing so, they have removed an important spiritual outlet by which karma-seekers can do their dues. Material goods have driven a further wedge between those who have and those who have not. Societal division is arguably greater than it ever was.
Taste Tibet is open all the usual hours this week, as follows:
Wednesday: 5-9.30pm (dinner only)
Thursday – Saturday: 12-3 (lunch) / 5-9.30pm (dinner)
Our menu is out now – check the website for full details. Come by for dine in, hot food takeaway or a wide range of dishes from our freezers.
Looking forward to seeing you soon!
Julie and Yeshi
Opening hours this week:
Thurs – Sat: 12-3pm 🥢 5-9.30pm
☏ 01865 499318