Exiled Tibetans Celebrate the Dalai Lama's Birthday

Created: 2013-07-06 16:34 EST

Category: World > Asia Pacific

Exiled Tibetans celebrated the Dalai Lama's 78th birthday on Saturday (July 6) with a Buddhist ceremony and traditional dances.

The celebrants sang Tibetan songs and performed traditional dances as they gathered at the Manang Gomba temple in Kathmandu.

[Losan Lama, Tibetan]:
"All the Tibetans exiled in Nepal, who practice the Buddhist religion, will celebrate the birthday of His Holiness the Dalai Lama"

Nepal is home to around 20,000 Tibetans who have fled Chinese rule in their remote region. In recent years, the Nepali government has crushed protests by Tibetans against China, the country's top donor and key trade partner.

Beijing considers the Dalai Lama, who fled China in 1959 after the Communist Party took over China, a violent separatist. The Dalai Lama is based in India and says he is merely seeking greater autonomy for his Himalayan homeland.