Dalai Lama's address: an emotional experience for foreigners

Last Updated: Thu, Mar 10, 2011 11:10 hrs

Dharamsala (Himachal Pradesh), March 10 (IANS) It was an 'emotional' and a 'lifetime experience' for the scores of foreigners who witnessed the Dalai Lama's annual address here Thursday.

'I have been longing for the last 40 years to come to Dharamsala to witness this beautiful Tibetan ceremony. And the wish has finally come true today. I am a big fan of the Dalai Lama and have been a strong supporter of the Tibet cause since I was 19-years-old,' Kajsa, who teaches at University West at Trollhattan in Sweden, told IANS.

Many foreigners, both tourists and followers of Tibetan Buddhism, attended the session, with many coming out as firm supporters of the Tibetan cause. Many foreigners had painted the Tibetan flag on their faces.

'It was a lifetime experience for me and I am feeling very moved. Everyone on this earth has right to live in free air. Now onwards I would like to come here more frequently to contribute more significantly in this movement.'

Kajsa has come to India with her daughter Olivia to visit educational institutes. However, she took time out of her busy schedule to attend the address of Dalai Lama that he delivered to Tibetans and the international community here.

'Though I do not know much about this issue, but these days I am going through many history books to acquaint myself with this cause. We have reached here only a couple of days back and I really like this place. It is so peaceful,' Olivia, who is to start taking an industrial economy course at University West this September, told IANS.

Steve Golding, from London and a staunch follower of the Dalai Lama, told IANS: 'It was all very exciting, emotional and even tearful. This is my second visit to Dalai Lama's palace. I first came here 16 years ago. However, I am fighting for the cause of Tibetans for the last 20 years and contribute both financially and by active participation in their campaigns.'

'I think there is not much support for this cause as I like to see. Yes, there are so many people who believe in their concept but there is lack of action oriented approach. Actually people do not want to suffer and to do sacrifice with their standard of living,' Said Golding, who works with a charity group Phoenix Futures in London.

Golding said that they have also organised 'Tibet national uprising walk' in central London during weekends.

Henry Smith, a Russian tourist, said: 'One of my Indian friends brought me here to attend this session. I am really disappointed after learning about their decades-old struggle to win even their basic rights. I have decided that now onwards I would start contributing to this cause in whichever way it's possible.'