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Day 38: Dharamsala and McLeodganj

Michael Palin - Himalaya'And...some beautiful documentaries on film, including your own sort of film.'

My head is swimming. This is turning into some fantasy commercial, and there seems to be no stopping him.

'And sometimes...I wish to journey with you,' says the Dalai Lama. 'I could see many places, and meet different people.'

I can't remember the exact details of the fact sheet I was given earlier, but I think that, since he first travelled outside India in 1973, the Dalai Lama has been to 50 countries or more.

'From my childhood I always have curiosity...to know more about different people, different culture, and as a Buddhist monk I also, you see, have an interest to learn more about different religious traditions.'

I tell him we're going to Tibet next.

'But I don't think you'd want to come with us.'

He laughs very hard at this, then says quietly and seriously, 'Although I'm here outside Tibet, not inside Tibet, as a Tibetan I want to extend my welcome to you to visit my old country.'

There's pathos in this remark. A reminder that he speaks for 120,000 Tibetans living in exile.

I ask what we will find there, what may have changed most.

He cites Chinese immigration. Tibetans are a minority in Lhasa now.
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  • Series: Himalaya
  • Chapter: Day 38: Dharamsala and McLeodganj
  • Country/sea: India
  • Place: McLeodganj
  • Book page no: 86

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