The Office of Tibet, Brussels, organised its annual reception to celebrate the 88th birthday of His Holiness the Dalai Lama on Wednesday, 05 July at the prestigious Solvay Library in the vicinity of the European Parliament and other EU institutions. Although His Holiness’ actual birthday falls on the 6thof July, the reception was organised on the 5th in due consideration of the calendar of the European Parliament.
Over 100 guests, including members of the diplomatic corps, EU and Belgian officials, Members of European and Belgian Parliament, representatives of International NGOs and representatives of Belgium based Tibetan associations attended the reception. The EU and the US mission were represented at the highest level in the celebration.
The program started with the invocation by H.E. Ranyank Patrul Rinpoche and Venerable Geshe Tseten followed by a brief address to the gathering by Rigzin Genkhang, Representative of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to the EU and Western Europe.
She thanked the guests for their presence and for their continued support to His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan people while emphasising His Holiness’ tireless contribution to world peace, religious harmony, the environment, human rights and other major global issues.
“For Tibetans all over the world, His Holiness is a guiding light, the ultimate symbol of Tibet as a nation and its people with its own distinct historical, religious and cultural identity. Tibet’s story, post-invasion, would have been a vastly different one had we not had a visionary leader like His Holiness at the helm”, said Representative Genkhang.
She credited His Holiness’ steadfast commitment to non-violence and his unquestionable moral authority over his people living in and outside Tibet as the only reason why the Tibetan freedom struggle has remained non-violent in the face of so much brutality.
Carlo Luyckx, President of the Belgium Buddhist Union, in his brief address emphasised His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s contribution to the world.
After the formal function, the guests were treated to a few classical Nangma performances by four Belgium based Tibetan artists creating a Tibetan festivity ambiance.
As an addition to this year’s His Holiness’ birthday celebration, the Office of Tibet, Brussels, organised a photographic exhibition on the four principal commitments of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama. The material was loaned to the Office of Tibet, Brussels, by the London Office of Tibet.
There was also a stand where the guests could get their names calligraphed.
The evening concluded with a traditional Tibetan circle dance led by the artists with the participation from the guests.