The Office of Tibet, Brussels, organised its annual reception to celebrate the 87th birthday of His Holiness the Dalai Lama on Wednesday at the prestigious Solvay Library in the vicinity of the European Parliament and other EU institutions. Although His Holiness’ actual birthday falls on the 6th of July, the reception was organised on the 13th in due consideration of the calendar of the European Parliament.
Despite being the last week before the start of the summer vacation, over 100 invitees, including members of the diplomatic corps, EU and Belgian officials, Members of the European and Belgian Parliament, representatives of International NGOs and representatives of Belgium-based Tibetan associations attended the reception. It must be noted here that this year the EU was represented at the highest level.
The program started with the invocation by Venerables Zeekyab and Metok Rinpoche and Toblak. This was followed by a brief address to the gathering by Rigzin Genkhang, Representative of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to the EU and Western Europe. In her bilingual (English and French) speech, she greeted the guests and thanked them for their continued friendship and support of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan people while underlining His Holiness’ tireless contribution to world peace, religious harmony, the environment, human rights and other major global issues.
“And of the greatest gifts His Holiness has given to the Tibetan people, is democracy. It will not be an exaggeration to say that His Holiness persuaded the Tibetans in exile to accept, embrace and practice democracy”, said Representative Genkhang.
She also underlined the fact that if the Tibetan freedom struggle has remained non-violent in the face of such brutality it is solely due to His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s steadfast commitment to and advocacy for non-violence.
Venerable Zeekyab Rinpoche in his brief address spoke about the principal commitments of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and explained the purpose of his visit to Brussels this week.
After the conclusion of the speaking part, guests were treated to a classic Nangma performance by three Belgium-based Tibetan artists creating a Tibetan festivity ambience. The evening concluded with a traditional Tibetan circle dance led by the artists with the participation of the guests.