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Continued: Dalai Lama celebrates Tibetan New Year in Twin Cities

Political dignitaries were also on hand. The prime minister of the Tibetan government in exile, the Harvard-educated Lobsang Sangay, addressed the crowd, as did U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison and U.S. Rep. Betty McCollum.

Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges read a proclamation marking Sunday as a “Dalai Lama Day of Peace and Compassion.”

After the Dalai Lama made his way out the door, his followers lined up next to the stage to leave a white scarf on the throne on which he had sat, a ritual meant to bring good luck to their spiritual leader in the year ahead.

Others rolled out rugs on the floor of the sport center, and opened up coolers packed with Tibetan dumplings and other treats. Warm food was also served in the hallway. Children played with old friends and new. And grown-ups were left to reflect on the remarkable day.

“I was so overjoyed when he came in, that when he left it was like feeling empty,” said Chokden. “But we hope to see him again.”


Jean Hopfensperger • 612-673-4511


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