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08. Unpacking Culture, Power and Agency with Chemi Lhamo

Season #4

The Dalai Lama is a symbol of hope and peace for millions of people all over the world, and has given the world much, so generously for decades. The world saw an edited clip of the Dalai Lama and a child that went viral a few weeks ago. Many non-Tibetans were numb, outraged, shocked and dismayed at an interaction that brought up much discomfort based on personal and collective history of harm and abuse by religious leaders and Yoga teachers who have misused and abused their power.

Since then, Tibetan leaders, activists and practitioners, and people from the community have spoken up about how this has been misinterpreted. An expression of affection, a phrase often used by Tibetan elders misconstrued. This conversation unpacks all this with Chemi Lhamo, a repeat guest on the podcast. Chemi is a community leader and human rights activist, often called to speak about Tibet on global platforms.

During this conversation, Chemi and Anjali discuss:

• The impact of the video and how the ensuing backlash felt in the Tibetan community

• The intergenerational trauma of displacement and erasure from the Dominant cultural narratives

• How Tibetans in Tibet are responding to this situation Differences in cultural norms of affection and expression; the harm of ethnocentrism

• Reflections on how non-Tibetans can show solidarity with the Tibetans right now

• What we can learn from this and how we can move forward

• How we can practice discernment at a time like this

• How we can anchor ourselves into the teachings

• How we can be in solidarity with the Tibetan people

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