Dalai Lama apologizes for ‘hug’ with young boy
Dalai Lama apologizes for ‘hug’ with young boy after asking him to ‘suck my tongue’
Supporters of the Dalai Lama defended him online this week after the religious leader asked a young boy to “suck my tongue” on Monday, outraging many observers.
The Dalai Lama’s defenders argued criticism was coming from Westerners who misunderstand Tibetan culture. Sticking out one’s tongue at another person is considered a sign of respect or affirmation in the region’s culture, according to the University of California at Berkeley’s Institute of East Asian Studies.
“Expression of emotions and manners today has been melted together and become vividly westernised,” Tibetan activist Namdol Lhagyari tweeted Monday. “Bringing in narrative of other cultures, customs and social influence on gender and sexuality to interpret Tibetan way of expression is heinous.”
“At [the] Dalai Lama’s temple, a child asked him if he could hug Dalai Lama & he said yes, then he asked for a kiss & Dalai Lama did a kiss, then jokingly Dalai Lama said ‘you can suck my tongue’. So that was a part of a joke or just a play with the kid, so we should not go more than that,” said Dawa Tsering, a member of the Tibetan Parliament In Exile.
INDIAN MAN RIGGED MUSIC SYSTEM WITH EXPLOSIVES THAT KILLED GROOM OF FORMER LOVER: REPORTS
The Dalai Lama is facing criticism for asking a young boy to “suck my tongue,” something his defenders say was meant as a joke. (Pallava Bagla/Corbis via Getty Images)
The 87-year-old exiled religious leader of Tibet was holding a public event when the interaction occurred. His representatives made no mention of the tongue incident in an apologetic statement, saying only that the boy approached the Dalai Lama and asked for a hug. The two interacted for several moments, and footage circulating on social media shows the boy responding to the leader’s request to “suck my tongue.”
“A video clip has been circulating that shows a recent meeting when a young boy asked his holiness the Dalai Lama if he could give him a hug,” representatives wrote in a statement on Twitter. “His holiness wishes to apologize to the boy and his family, as well as his many friends across the world, for the hurt his words may have caused.”
“His holiness often teases people when he meets in an innocent and playful way, even in public and before cameras. He regrets the incident,” the statement continued.
CHINA INTERFERENCE IN SUCCESSION OF NEXT DALAI LAMA SLAMMED BY SEN. RISCH
The Dalai Lama currently lives in India and is considered by China to be a criminal separatist after he fled Tibet following a failed uprising against China in 1959.
Video of Monday’s incident has already racked up millions of views across social media.
The Dalai Lama issued an apology for a seemingly inappropriate interaction with a young boy on Monday. (AFP via Getty Images)
CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP
The religious leader remains a major player in the fight for freedom in Tibet, which is under oppressive Chinese rule.
The Chinese foreign ministry declared in 2011 that only the government in Beijing can appoint the next Dalai Lama and no other succession candidate would be given any recognition. Nevertheless, Buddhist priests have unanimously rejected that declaration, saying only the Dalai Lama can appoint a successor.