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2010-01-02 | Day 490 | 33550 km

Daniel | 2010-01-02

I’ve been told the monastery in Lhasa, the home to the Dalai Lama (if not in exile) is a must see. The countless Buddha statues, script rolls and tombs didn’t really do it for me, but the behaviour of the pilgrims was most interesting. We were pretty much the long-nosed tourists.

Along the labyrinth-like corridors, monks swept the Yuan-notes with big brooms into corners, where they then were collected and brought to the main entrance. Pilgrims can then change their notes into many smaller ones and throw them some place they find worthy – probably to honour gods or lamas. I’m surprised to find that even Buddhism, the most peaceful religion I know of appraises cash. Other visitors brought butter to feed the many pots with butter-candles in it. A very interesting ritual I find. It seems nobody is bothered by the monks taking the butter out in front of the eyes of the donators in order to make space for more butter. The butter is then stored in sacks and buckets, somewhere in the background. Maybe for the night, when there are no visitors…

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