The Dalai Lama made his highly anticipated appearance at the Glastonbury Festival today and those gathered were so pleased to see him, they sang him ‘Happy Birthday’ a week early.
The Tibetan Buddhist leader turns 80 next week and thousands of people waited in the rain for hours to see him at the festival’s Stone Circle.
His appearance at Glastonbury has infamously infuriated the Chinese government but the exiled leader had only words of peace and compassion in his half hour speech.
And the Dalai Lama used his time to call on world governments to spend less on arms and more on fighting poverty.
Discussing inequality, he said:
It’s not just morally wrong but also it’s a practical problem.
Such an honour to have the Dalai Lama here on Worthy Farm this morning. pic.twitter.com/6OZPN7iDoM
— Glastonbury Festival (@GlastoFest) June 28, 2015
He also took the opportunity to speak about the conflict in the Middle East, adding:
In Syria and Iraq and some other places they’re killing other human beings. Unthinkable. The worst thing (about) the conflict is the killing of others in the name of faith.
The Dalai Lama, who wore a festival T-shirt over his head to fend off the rain, praised Glastonbury as a “festival of people, not governments or politicians”.
I see old and young, everybody full of joy. While you are here, enjoy the joyfulness here. But you should remember on this same planet are human beings being killed by human beings.
A reminder that this guy really is The Fonz of religious teachings.