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Students Meet Dalai Lama

On the 7th of July sixteen pupils and two staff from Rugby School were granted the huge privilege of a private audience with His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama at his home in Dharamsala, Northern India. The group was in the area to work with Tibet Charity India, teaching English to Tibetan refugees and working with nurses to help the elderly of the town, while experiencing many fascinating elements of Tibetan culture.

The audience was granted in commemoration of the four boys sent to Rugby by H.H. The 13th Dalai Lama during the First World War, and His Holiness said that, while generations pass, he retains a strong emotional link to Rugby. Indeed, one of the boys was later his interpreter before his exile from Tibet in 1959. Having initially expected a fifteen minute meeting we were delighted to speak to His Holiness for an hour and a half on a huge variety of topics, including Brexit, the Arab-Israeli Conflict and the nature of atheism.

The Dalai Lama's famous humour was apparent from the start, greeting us all individually and putting us at ease with his wonderfully infectious laughter. It really was an amazing experience and one that will stay with pupils for a lifetime as well as being a wonderful way to resurrect the historic links between Rugby School and the Tibetan people.

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