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AU International Travel Log

9. February 2005 • Ari Paul
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DHARAMSALA, India—Losar, the Tibetan New Year, took place this morning in Dharamsala in northern India, the seat of the Dalai Lama’s government in exile. The Dalai Lama’s government has been based here since the late 1950’s, when the Chinese government invaded Tibet and exile Buddhist leaders.

People from around the world crammed into the temple in McLoudganj to see Buddhist monks call upon the state diety to grant the Tibetan strength and bring world peace. Tibetan children danced and sang while two monks debated the Buddhist concept of compassion as onlookers watched and drank Tibetan tea.

Rains and cold weather have impeded some to come to the mountain city for the annual festival, but life goes on here as usual. His Holiness the Dalai Lama was not in town today, but is expected to return this week.

With the recent coup in Nepal and less pressure on China from Europe and the United States to resolve its human rights problems, it appears that Tibetan idenity is in jeprody, however, this has only increased people’s awareness of this problem here in India.