Monday, July 6, 2015

Protesting the Dalai Lama at UC Irvine

You can't make this up.

For some unexplained reason, the Dalai Lama is celebrating his 80th birthday in Orange County. Yesterday, he was at the Honda Center in Anaheim, and today, lo and behold, he was at UC Irvine, where yours truly was teaching a class just across the bridge.

So after class, I wandered over to the Bren Center on campus and to my utter amazement, there was a protest going on outside while His Holiness was inside talking about love, peace, Mom, and apple pie. I managed to take a couple of pictures and some video with my handy 20th century cell phone. Hopefully, I can get the video onto the blog.

It seems there is a sect of Tibetan Buddhism called the Dorje Shugden, who worship a deity that the Dalai Lama has renounced. I won't go into details, but there were a couple of hundred protesters outside waving banners that said, "Stop supporting the Dalai Lama". Meanwhile, some people were beating drums, and across the street four guys with bullhorns were chanting, "False Dalai Lama. Stop Lying". Many of the folks appeared to be Tibetans while others were Caucasians dressed in Buddhist robes.

I thought everybody loved the Dalai Lama.

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