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The Dalai Lama’s 80th birthday at Glastonbury
This year, one of the most cheered guests at Glastonbury Festival was not a musician, nor a band, but the Dalai Lama.
Sunday 28 June, in Somerset county, England, was the last day of Glastonbury Festival, one of the most important international music festival: 27 stages covering the whole areas and 4 days of non-stop music. There were several guests, including Florence and the Machine, Kanye West, Patti Smith, the Who, Alt J, Flying Lotus and many others. However, one of the guests who were cheered the most was not a musician, nor a band.
On Sunday afternoon, during Patti Smith performance on Pyramid Stage (the main stage), after playing the fifth song, Pissing In A River, dedicated to “all our Wikileaks friends”, the singer reminded that the Dalai Lama will celebrate his 8oth birthday on 6 July. The Dalai Lama got on stage, met all Patti Smith’s staff and Emily Eavis, the organiser of the festival and received birthday wishes in person.
We are grateful to him for all his love of humanity and making people aware of the importance of saving the planet
explained Patti Smith before reading a poem she had written for him. There is a strong long lasting bond between Patti Smith and the Dalai Lama. The singer has often publicly supported the independence of Tibet, taking part to several charity concerts (including the concert at New York Carnegie Hall last year).
After blowing the candles out, the Dalai Lama thanked the audience:
Dear brothers and sisters, I really appreciate so many people’s expression of warm feeling
Then he joked about Patti Smith and his band’s age:
Most of you have white hair – but the voice and the physical action looks very youthful. So that gives me encouragement myself. I’m now 80, but I should be more active like you.
Awarded with a Nobel Prize, during a press conference hold shorly before the festival, the Buddhist leader greeted the success of the festival:
A festival of people, not politicians and governments.
The Dalai Lama also replied to the Chinese Governments official objections while he announced to be attending Glastonbury Festival:
Whenever I meet people or an organization, the Chinese officials always protest, they consider me as a demon so they have to oppose the demon’s activities, although I’m not seeking independence or separation. [Tibet indepence or separation from China]
Previously, during another speech made at Glastonbury Stone Circle on Sunday morning, the Dalai Lama harshly criticised conflicts all over the world:
In this very moment, in some parts of the world, like Syria, Iraq, Nigeria and some other places – they’re killing, human to human being. Unthinkable. And the worst thing [is that] conflict, killing each other, in the name of their faith. […] The real meaning of ‘jihad’ was not harming others, but to use “constructive emotion” to combat destructive emotions: I daily use it in my five hours of meditation, this kind of jihad.
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