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Dalai Lama Regrets Controversial Video with Child


Dalai Lama Regrets Controversial Video with Child

The Tibetan spiritual leader expresses remorse for his behavior and offers apologies to the boy and his family.

The Dalai Lama, the Tibetan Buddhist spiritual leader, publicly expressed regret on Monday following the circulation of a video in which he kissed a young boy on the lips and requested him to “consume my tongue” which quickly gained widespread attention on social media platforms. The incident took place in February at the temple where the Dalai Lama resides in Dharamsala, India. The footage captures the moment when the young boy sought a hug, and the Dalai Lama gestured towards his cheek, saying, “Start here.” Subsequently, the spiritual figure gestured towards his lips and requested another kiss, also urging the boy to “consume my tongue,” as he brought his forehead close to the boy’s.

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The video faced immediate condemnation and amassed millions of views online, with numerous individuals labeling the Dalai Lama’s actions as “disturbing” and “inappropriate.” In response, the spiritual leader issued an apology to the boy, his family, and his supporters worldwide. His office clarified that the Dalai Lama often engages in light-hearted and playful teasing with people, including in public and in front of cameras. Nevertheless, the statement did not specifically address the kiss or the tongue-invitation.

While sticking out the tongue is a conventional form of greeting in Tibet, tongue-consumption is not a customary practice. The act of showing one’s tongue originates from a 9th-century legend regarding an unpopular king with a dark tongue. Following the king’s demise, Tibetans began displaying their tongues to indicate they had not reincarnated as him.

This incident is not the first time the Dalai Lama has generated controversy. In 2018, he made comments implying that African refugee migrants should return to their homelands, asserting that “Europe belongs to the Europeans.” The subsequent year, he issued an apology after stating in an interview with the BBC that if he had a female successor, she “should be more visually appealing.”

Despite the recent controversies and criticisms surrounding the Dalai Lama’s actions, it is crucial to acknowledge that he is a respected spiritual figure who has dedicated his life to advocating for peace, compassion, and human rights. His teachings have touched the lives of countless individuals globally, and he has committed himself to fostering unity among people of all religions and cultures. Hopefully, going forward, there will be no further controversies involving the Dalai Lama.

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