Dalai Lama has apologised after kissing a boy and asking him to ‘suck’ his tongue.
The 14th Dalai Lama, known as Gyalwa Rinpoche to the Tibetan people, is the head of the country of Tibet.
The 87-year-old is also the highest spiritual leader.
He’s now being branded ‘inappropriate’ and ‘disturbing’ after footage has surfaced which shows him asking a boy if he wants to ‘suck’ his tongue.
Find out more about the incident involving Dalai Lama in the clip below…
The incident reportedly took place on February 28 at Dalai Lama’s temple in Dharamshala.
At the time, the spiritual leader had been interacting with around 120 students who had completed a skills training programme organised by the M3M Foundation.
The foundation uploaded photos from the event on social media in March, in one of them the Dalai Lama is seen hugging the boy from the viral video.
In the footage, the child asks the leader whether he can have a hug.
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The 87-year-old motions to his cheeks and says ‘first here’ and the boy kisses his cheek and gives him a hug.
While holding onto the child’s hand, Dalai Lama then motions to his lips and says ‘I think here also’, and kisses the boy on the lips.
After the pair put their foreheads together, the leader sticks out his tongue and says: “And suck my tongue.”
While some people laugh at the comment, the boy sticks his tongue out before moving away, as does the leader.
In Tibet, a person sticking out their tongue can be a form of greeting.
Since the footage has gone viral, many people have taken to social media and blasted Dalai Lama.
One person writes: “I find this highly disturbing, especially the crowd laughing, it’s bordering on absolutely insane.”
Another adds: “That video of the Dalai Lama is quite disturbing. I’m shocked.”
While a third says: “Asking a young boy to ‘suck my tongue’ is so inappropriate that accountability cannot be denied even if [the] intention wasn’t wrong.”
However, others have taken to the comments and defended the spiritual leader, pointing out that it’s a Tibetan greeting tradition.
“It is an old Tibetan welcome ritual. To greet someone in Tibet, you have to show your tongue,” one person argues.
— Dalai Lama (@DalaiLama) April 10, 2023
The controversy prompted an apology from the office of the Dalai Lama, who said his behaviour was been ‘innocent and playful’.
The statement says: “His holiness wishes to apologise 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 he meets in an innocent and playful way, even in public and before cameras. He regrets the incident.”
This is not the Dalai Lama’s first controversy.
He caused outrage in 2019 after suggesting that if the Dalai Lama returned as a woman ‘she should be more attractive’.
His office later apologised.
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