The Tibetan spiritual leader expresses regret for his actions and apologizes to the boy and his family.
The Dalai Lama, the Tibetan Buddhist spiritual leader, issued an apology on Monday after a video of him kissing a young boy on the lips and asking him to “suck my tongue” went viral on social media. The incident occurred in February at the temple where the Dalai Lama resides in Dharamsala, India. The clip shows the young boy asking for a hug, to which the Dalai Lama points to his cheek and says, “First here.” Then, the spiritual leader points to his lips and asks for another kiss. He says, ” suck my tongue,” putting his forehead closer to the boys.
The video was met with swift backlash and garnered millions of views online, with many calling the Dalai Lama’s actions “sick” and “pedophilic.” In response, the spiritual leader issued an apology to the boy and his family, as well as his friends across the world. His office stated that the Dalai Lama often teases people innocently and playfully, even in public and before cameras. However, the statement did not mention the kiss or the tongue-sucking.
In Tibet, sticking out one’s tongue is a traditional greeting, but tongue-sucking is not a part of the tradition. Sticking out one’s tongue stems from a 9th-century myth about an unpopular king with a black tongue. After the king’s death, Tibetans began revealing their tongues to show they hadn’t become his incarnate.
Supporters defend Dalai Lama’s odd interaction with young boy, point to Tibet’s history of ‘tongue greetings’ https://t.co/d5zqOhivIY
— Fox News (@FoxNews) April 11, 2023
This is not the first time the Dalai Lama has sparked controversy. In 2018, he made remarks suggesting that African refugee migrants should return to their continents, stating that “Europe belongs to the Europeans.” The following year, he apologized after stating in an interview with the BBC that if he had a female successor, she “should be more attractive.”
While the Dalai Lama’s recent actions have caused controversy and criticism, it is important to remember that he is a revered spiritual leader who has worked tirelessly to promote peace, compassion, and human rights. His teachings have touched the lives of millions worldwide, and he has dedicated his life to promoting harmony among people of all faiths and cultures. Hopefully, moving forward, there will be no more controversies involving the Dalai Lama