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Photographer's Note

Again I am inspired by the photos by Kasia and Gert and I look in my archive.
When thinking of Lhasa or Tibet as a whole, we imagine that Lhasa is a mysterious Buddhist area where the local people all believe Buddhism. But in reality, there is a Muslim minority in Tibet and there are four mosques in Lhasa. Here is the entrance to Lhasa Great Mosque. It was first built during the reign of Emperor Kangxi in 1716. Its name is inscribed on a big signboard over the gate in Arabic script, and Tibetan and Chinese characters. The entire wall of the mosque is decorated in traditional Islamic flower patterns with blue as its basic color. The mosque is built in the traditional form with a dome and minaret.

It is this sign in three scripts that interested me most.
The Arabic script is the writing system used for writing Arabic and several other languages of Asia and Africa, such as Persian, Kurdish, Azerbaijani, Sindhi, Pashto, Lurish, Urdu, Mandinka, and others. Until the 16th century, it was also used to write some texts in Spanish. Additionally, prior to the language reform in 1928, it was the writing system of Turkish. It is the second-most widely used writing system in the world by the number of countries using it and the third by the number of users, after Latin and Chinese characters.

The Arabic script is written from right to left in a cursive style. In most cases, the letters transcribe consonants, or consonants and a few vowels. Everywhere in mosques there are writings in Arabic. But who nowadays in Turkey or Uzbekistan can read it? (here the first word is masjid - it means mosque, then it is Lhasa and big - kabir. I know part of the alphabet so I can guess sometimes what it is written). The Arabic alphabet has 28 letters, all representing consonants.

The Tibetan script is of Indic origin. In the Tibetan script, the syllables are written from left to right. The Tibetan alphabet has thirty basic letters.
Chinese characters are logograms developed for the writing of Chinese. They have been adapted to write a number of other Asian languages. They remain a key component of the Japanese writing system and are occasionally used in the writing of Korean. Chinese characters number in the tens of thousands. In Japan, 2,136 are taught through secondary school hundreds more are in everyday use.
They must have different brains to learn all these characters. :).

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Additional Photos by Malgorzata Kopczynska (emka) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 11958 W: 126 N: 30397] (142144)
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