Dalai Lama Tours Central Europe

Cultural diplomat Dalai Lama keeps the Tibetan language, culture and traditions alive

November 14th, 2016
Linda Vavricova, CD News

The spiritual leader of Tibet, strong human rights’ advocate and the Nobel Peace Prize laureate the Dalai Lama has been received by the President, Members of Parliament and students in Slovakia to manifest the Tibetan language, culture and traditions. No previous Dalai Lama has visited so many countries and none has received so much international recognition as the current 14th Dalai Lama.

The 14th Dalai Lama arrived in Slovakia on 15th October and delivered an inspiring lecture the following day. Among the other things, the Dalai Lama highlighted the importance of the European Union project which he said is achieving its main mission of creating a Europe without wars.

The Dalai Lama formulated several powerful messages during his speech in Bratislava, such as the need for religious tolerance. He said that one of his most important commitments is “to encourage people to see that despite different philosophical points of view, different customs and different history, all the world’s major religious traditions convey a common message of the importance of warm-heartedness, contentment, forgiveness and tolerance”.

It is already his third visit to Slovakia and was organized by Csaba and Suzanne Kiss, founders of the At Home Gallery, a non-profit gallery in the Slovak city of Šamorín based in an ancient synagogue. The spiritual leader of Tibet visited this during his first visit to Slovakia in 2000.

In Slovakia, the Dalai Lama met with the Slovak President Andrej Kiska, despite the perhaps growing trend of avoiding this former Tibetan ruler by Presidents and Prime Ministers across the world whilst China is politically and economically rising. President Kiska nevertheless pursued the meeting and met the Dalai Lama outside the Presidential Palace, in a restaurant for an informal meeting.

Nine years after the Chinese’s army entry into Tibet in 1950 and the incorporation of Tibet into the People’s Republic of China, the Dalai Lama decided to leave for India, and was followed by other Tibetans. The Tibetan political representation in exile has initially been concentrating on the development of schools and monasteries and the general integration of Tibetans into the Indian society.

The Dalai Lama and China resumed the dialogue only after the end of Maoist period, while the late 1980s saw an upsurge of demonstrations calling for Tibet’s independence and the return of the Dalai Lama. Currently, the dialogue between China and the Dalai Lama is in deadlock.

Nevertheless, the Dalai Lama’s reception in Slovakia and in other central European states on his tour is important for many reasons. Not only is the Dalai Lama the most famous and influential bearer of the Tibetan language, culture and traditions but, most importantly, he is primarily an advocate of non-violence. Through this, he has been defending and safeguarding human rights in Tibet. For this reason, the Dalai Lama received a Nobel Peace Prize in 1989.


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