On the “Tonguegate” Controversy: The Dalai Lama and the Impact of Sensational Information on People.

Dalai Lama

Recently, articles have appeared on the internet and various social media platforms regarding the "tongue scandal". Some people claim that there was molestation involved. But what is it all about?

People are naturally drawn to sensational news and scandals, and the media tries to exploit this by publishing increasingly controversial topics. Journalists, in turn, are interested in such information because it attracts readers' attention and increases their popularity and respect in the world of journalism. This mechanism that drives people to seek sensational news is known as the "bad news sells" effect.

Opis zdarzenia językiem JŚ Dalai Lama

In recent days, the media and social media platforms have been flooded with information and posts regarding an alleged "scandal" surrounding His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Most of these reports are based on a short video clip that has been taken out of context.

Many people are comparing the actions of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to those of Catholic priests, which in turn has sparked a wave of comments and various opinions.

Unfortunately, most articles focus on sensational aspects, which attract readers' attention. This phenomenon is well known to people using social media platforms, who often base their opinions solely on the title, which can often lead to erroneous conclusions. Therefore, it is important to approach such information with moderation and carefully analyze the context before forming any opinions.

Description of the scene in the short video cut

The video in question was only 20 seconds long and showed one scene repeated two or three times, depending on the person who edited the footage. The actual scene in the video lasted only a few to several seconds.

In the video, His Holiness the Dalai Lama is seen gently touching the chin of a Indian child and bringing it closer to his own mouth, possibly touching lips. He then says the words "and ssa my tongue." Many people interpreted this as "suck my tongue," and the video ends abruptly, leaving some to wonder if the child was made to suck his tongue.

It is normal for most people to interpret things from their own perspective or experience of suffering.

How did it actually look?

To get a complete picture of the whole situation, it is recommended to watch the video in uninterrupted format. The video is available at the link: https://www.facebook.com/beingtibetanofficial2018/videos/1616308505556128/ starting from the 15:00 minute mark.

At 15:21, the child asked, "Can I hug you?" - His Holiness the Dalai Lama did not understand the question. His translators translated it in Tibetan. The child added, "It's a question." The translators continued to translate the child's request to His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Then, when he understood, he said, "Ok, come." The child tried to hug His Holiness the Dalai Lama, and he said, "first here," pointing to his right cheek, meaning to give a kiss on the cheek. Then His Holiness added, "here also," making a kissing sound with his lips and bringing the child closer to touch his lips. Then he said, "and ssa my tong," sticking out his tongue. The child laughed and approached His Holiness the Dalai Lama, and they touched foreheads. As soon as the child also stuck out his tongue, His Holiness the Dalai Lama immediately moved away to avoid tongue contact. Both the child and His Holiness the Dalai Lama were laughing.

Throughout the video of the child meeting His Holiness the Dalai Lama, it can be seen that the boy was having fun and smiling the whole time. Of course, there was a slight discomfort, but who wouldn't be slightly uncomfortable meeting someone new, or maybe even their idol, at such a young age? I think at any age, not just as a child!

At the end, His Holiness the Dalai Lama said to him, "Always look at those who create peace and happiness, not those who kill." In conclusion, he hugged the boy and tickled him under the arms, to which the boy responded with laughter and jumping away.

What did the behavior of the Dalai Lama mean?

To understand the differences between cultures, it is necessary to learn the basics of each one. For example, in some cultures, a kiss on the mouth as a greeting is an acceptable gesture, but in others, it is considered inappropriate and unacceptable.

We should not compare cultures, saying that one is better or worse than the other. Until there is actual harm and traumatization of other people, we should not make such judgments. The fact of promoting information about suspected trauma or harm that did not actually occur can contribute to causing actual trauma. Unfortunately, as we can see, the media often disseminate such information.

People with experience working with patients know that it is enough to tell a child that they have been molested and then refer them to long-term therapy. The child starts to believe that such an event took place, even if it did not. In many cases, courts have confirmed that such accusations were made up by the child's parents to get revenge on another parent. However, the trauma of a child from the belief of harm that it did not actually experience can have lasting effects.

Those who have heard speeches by the Dalai Lama know that he struggles with fluent English, which results in frequent mistakes and language errors. He also often adds Tibetan words to English sentences.

I have personal experience with this because, when returning to Italy, sometimes during conversations in Italian, I unknowingly use Polish words. Only when someone points it out to me do I realize that I used a word from a different language.

Tibetan game of the elderly

Now let me explain the traditional Tibetan game often played by grandparents or parents with children. When a child asks a parent or grandparent for something, such as a candy, the grandparent or parent says "first here" and points to their cheek, "now here" and points to their forehead for a kiss, then they may point to their nose, and finally say "ngie czie le sa" ངའི་ལྕེ་ལས་ཟ། which in Tibetan means "eat my tongue", causing the child to laugh. Whether the child gets the candy or not, they receive love and affection.

As I mentioned before, His Holiness the Dalai Lama often confuses words and languages. During the game, he said "SA (eat) my tongue," but unfortunately, everyone heard "suck." (people hear what they want to hear) This was an unfortunate mistake that was immediately used by China. Watch the video again and listen carefully. There is no "k" at the end of the word suck. His Holiness the Dalai Lama also has a very strong tongue and way of pronouncing consonants. If there was a "k" at the end, it would have sounded very strong from his mouth.

This confirms that he pronounced the Tibetan syllable "sa" ཟ - which means "eat". This in turn confirms that this is the same game that has been played for generations. Of course, a child who is not Tibetan may not know it.

However, to calm the situation, the Dalai Lama publicly apologized for the "words" - as we can read on the official website of His Holiness. Because it's about words here.

It is understandable that there was a mistake at this particular point and in this particular moment. His Holiness used the phrase "ngie czie le sa" all his life, and suddenly he had to translate it into English. The last syllable of this phrase is stressed, so it is easiest to confuse.

The Dalai Lama was entertaining and sensitive! The Tibetan perspective.

The fact that there is no abuse in this video does not mean that it is impossible for other people. The Dalai Lama himself said that cases of abuse in Buddhism and abuse of power should be exposed. Like in other religions and philosophies, reprehensible behavior and offenses may occur that require punishment. In this case, however, the video and the whole matter are only used by journalists for clicks and money, and are part of China's plan to remove Tibetan Buddhism from this part of the world.

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