BERN, Switzerland, May 25 (Xinhua) -- When prof. George van Driem was presented a hada, a traditional Tibetan ceremonial scarf made of white silk to show respects, kindness and good wishes, all the scholars in the meeting room inside the University of Bern bursted into applause.
A Chinese cultural delegation from the country's various Tibetology research centers on Monday held a forum discussion with their Swiss peers to deepen mutual understanding and exchanges in the Tibetan studies.
"As a linguist, my major interest for Tibet is the history and the status quo of the diversity of the Tibetan language, which always attract me and my PHD students to do researches," said prof. Driem.
For him, the splendid nature beauty of Tibet is also a big attraction, and the first thing he want to do in Tibet is to have a look of the Mount Qomolangma from the Tibetan side of the Himalayan.
Duo Erji, director of General Office of the China Tibetology Research Center, introduced that the Tibetan language has been well protect and even developed based on the social and economic improvements, with new Tibetan words being appeared very quickly.
According to experts, Tibetan script has a history of more than 1,300 years and currently, in the latest Chinese-Tibetan Dictionary, more than 80,000 Tibetan words are listed.
Besides, Tibet currently has 4,277 cultural relic sites, including 55 key cultural heritage sites under state protection, 391 under regional protection, and 978 under city- or county-level protection, as well as three state-level historical and cultural cities, namely Lhasa, Shigatse and Gyangtse.
Hao Shiyuan, assistant to the president of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and head of the delegation, said they strived to promote understanding between the two sides and introduce Tibet to Europeans, to help them find the doorway to the real Tibet, instead of merely being onlookers skimming over the surface buzz concerning this plateau.
"We are glad to know that a stable number of European scholars have been devoted themselves to Tibetology researches in various universities or institutes, we hope to cooperate with them more and supply the needed materials for help," he said.
Arriving in Switzerland on Sunday, the Chinese delegation had also held a series of meetings and discussions in Germany and Austria.
When meeting representatives of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences in Germany, the local researchers told the Chinese guests that they have been working on a dictionary for the Tibetan language before the 17th century for over 30 years and will continue to spend more years to finish the job, Hao told the Swiss peers that he was really moved by their efforts.