Sunday, February 14, 2010

I believe ...

I believe in a world community. I believe in the mystery of life of which each religion reveals one facet. I believe that words are symbols, counters of common coinage used to express the meaning which lies behind, and to worship the symbol is idolatory. I believe in working where there is need - differences of race, colour, religion are incidental.
Those words were written by Doris Murray, a Quaker volunteer working with Tibetan refugee children in Dharamsala in 1963. She was described as possessing "a combination of qualities which in another age might well have caused her to be revered as a saint".

The quotes come from Dervla Murphy's long out of print but well worth seeking out Tibetan Foothold as do my photos, which also date from 1963. The refugee children in the header photo are not being prepared for the Buddhist novitiate: their heads are shaved as protection against lice infestation. In the lower photo Tibetan refugees working building roads in northern India are bringing their children to a relief agency's nursery.

Today, February 14, is the Tibetan New Year. Sadly, almost 50 years after these photos were taken the Tibetan tragedy continues.


Igor Stravinsky and Ernst Ansermet's little known Tibetan connections are uncovered here.

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