Published: July 17th 2010July 6th 2010
July 6th was a special day. Especially for Tibetans. The only birthday celebrated in their culture is the Dalai Lama’s, they rarely acknowledge their own. Obviously Mcleod Ganj, where the Dalai Lama is in residency, saw a big celebration and involved the presence of His Holiness himself!
I rose early, put on my best chupa (traditional Tibetan dress) and splashed my way to the temple as the heavens had opened… non stop throughout the night and morning. I must admit, the amount of rain did put a slight downer on the event, as I was getting completely soaked, waiting for a glimpse of the man himself. Shivering and having water running down my arms, face, back, pretty much every part of my body, was all made worth it though when he stood less than a metre away from me, with his gleaming smile. It’s totally infectious and better than pictures can depict. It makes you melt inside a little.
After he passed us to take his seat there was a swarm of pushing and shoving, like crazed fans in the presence of the Beatles back in the day. It was bizarre. I managed to lodge myself in somewhere that was undercover and get a few more far away glimpses of him but it was all too much to take after half an hour. There were many speeches and some traditional Tibetan and Indian dance and music. A beautiful celebration made what would have been a miserable day, into one filled with smiling faces.
His Holiness is 75 years old this year and still going strong. He’s still doing amazing work for his country that is currently in shatters. The adoration on the many Tibetans faces around me was both heart-warming and inspiring. He is everything to them and a glimpse of him is like winning the lottery. He touched a friend of mines hand and they swarmed on her afterward to touch hers. To place their hand on someone’s skin that had been blessed with the touch of His Holiness was clearly just as rewarding as being touched yourself. His touch is regarded as that special. This is the love they have for him. Call it crazy if you like, but I think it’s beautiful.
Can we say the same for our country leaders? Would we be equally as happy to touch the hand of someone of whom David Cameron had touched? I highly doubt it. If he passed me in the street I probably wouldn’t care. They clearly have a society that works so well, in every way and I think it all starts from the top. From the Dalai Lama. The one country that has it so right has been taken advantage of by one that has it so wrong. It’s a damn shame.